Macron favorite as France votes for
new president, early turnout low
European Union centrist against a eurosceptic, anti-immigration far-rightist,
with early figures indicating turnout could be low, but above most recent forecasts.
win the five-year presidency, seeing off the challenge from National Front leader
Marine Le Pen after an election campaign full of scandal and upsets.
due soon after. The last opinion polls on Friday gave Macron between 61.5 and
63 percent of the vote. Forecasts of the result proved accurate for the tight first
round race between 11 candidates last month.
integration, would contrast with recent nativist, anti-globalization voting
outcomes like those that will see Britain quit the EU and which made Donald
Trump U.S. president.
the line given her desire to close borders, dump the euro currency, and tear up
party scored the last time it reached the presidential second round in 2002,
demonstrating the scale of voter disaffection with mainstream politics in France.
and she in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont.
by midday, the lowest at that point since the 2002 presidential poll, when it
was 26.19 percent. A poll on Friday had predicted a final turnout of 75 percent,
down from 80 percent plus in 2002, 2007 and 2012.
disenfranchised by Sunday's choice.
showing could mean for the outcome. One extra unknown is the level of blank
votes and spoilt ballots.
bitter television debate on Wednesday.
round," said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva-based fund
management firm Prime Partners. "The major political risk of a Le Pen victory
appears to be disappearing."
Le Pen is nevertheless closer to elected power than the far right has been in
France since World War Two.
president rather than its first female leader, Macron himself has said himself
he expects no honeymoon period.
stop Le Pen from being elected to lead the euro zone's second-largest economy,
rather than because they fully support the former banker turned politician.
Dulliand, who was voting in Annecy in the mountainous southeast, told Reuters.
really not satisfied with what is happening in our country, and that I would like
to see less stupidity, less money and more fraternity."
France will continue into parliamentary elections next month
in which the new president will try to secure a majority in
parliament. One poll this week suggested that was within
reach for Macron.
Sunday. Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, on
Thursday told L'Opinion daily that winning 40 percent
of the vote would be "a huge victory" for the National Front.
after the big left- and right-wing parties -- the Socialists
and The Republicans -- that have ruled France for decades
both suffered humiliating defeats in the election's first round.
night, just as the quiet period in which politicians are
forbidden from commenting began. Macron's team said
a massive hack had dumped emails, documents and
campaign-financing information online.
officers were on duty on Sunday. A series of militant
attacks in Paris, Nice and elsewhere in France have killed more than 230
people in recent years.
after the result, was briefly evacuated on Sunday after a suspect bag was found.
reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Callus and Catherine Evans)