PARIS, May 7. /TASS/. Voting at the French runoff presidential elections is coming to a close in European France.
A total of 66,500 polling stations opened their doors at 08:00 a.m. Paris time (09:00 Moscow time). Most of them will closed at 19:00 Paris time (20:00 Moscow time).
In Paris, Lyon and Marseille, voting will be continued for one more hour, till 20:00 Paris time (21:00 Moscow time).
Due to the time gap, voting at the runoff presidential elections in Overseas France started on Saturday. The French media are prohibited to publish the results of the voting until all the polling stations are closed. But Belgium’s RTBF has already made public exit poll results demonstrating that Leader of the En Marche! (On the Move) movement and presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is winning the runoff elections. He can count for 62-67% of votes.
According to Le Figaro’s electronic edition, French nationals currently staying in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany demonstrated high voter activity at the presidential polls. Thus, as many as 1.3 million French citizens have registered for taking part in the voting abroad. In Americas, the voting took place on Saturday and is over by now.
Turnout lower at previous elections
Analysts note that the voter turnout at Sunday’s runoff polls is going to be lower than at the previous elections. More to it, it is lower than in the first round of voting on April 23.
Thus, according to France’s interior ministry, the voter turnout at Sunday’s runoff presidential elections was 65.30% as of 17:00 Paris time (18:00 Moscow time). This figure is lower than at the presidential polls in 2012 and 2007 (71.96 and 75.11%, respectively).
The voter turnout at the first round of voting was 70% by this time.
The presidential election is taking place amid a state of emergency throughout country. According to the interior ministry, more than 50,000 policemen and 7,000 servicemen are ensuring law and order during the voting.
No serious incidents have been reported up till now. Media reports about an explosive device spotted near Louvre in Paris proved to be a hoax.
The first preliminary results of the voting will be announced as soon as all polling stations are closed. The candidates are expected to come out with official statements shortly after.