first-round voting has begun overseas

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In the overseas territories, some voters have already started to go to the polls for the first round of voting. In mainland France, it will be necessary to wait until Sunday morning.

Silence, let’s vote! First voters began to go to the polls on Saturday, overseas and abroad for the first round of the presidential election, while the metropolis will have to wait until Sunday to decide between the 12 candidates, held in the greatest discretion until at the close of the poll.

Huge unknown of this 11th presidential election by universal suffrage of the Fifth Republic: the abstention rate. Many political scientists fear that the record of April 21, 2002 (28.4%), the highest level ever recorded for a first round of a presidential election, could be beaten, which is much more than in 2017 (22.2% ) which was already not a good vintage.

A high rate of undecided voters

The new element is the high rate of undecided voters, which poses “significant” uncertainty on the ballot, according to political scientist Pascal Perrineau.

The National Commission for the Control of the Electoral Campaign and the Polling Commission also called on voters on Friday “to exercise the greatest caution” after the broadcast of text messages citing polls which are not polls and “which may constitute information misleading”.

Pending the first results on Sunday at 8 p.m., public meetings, distribution of leaflets and digital propaganda are prohibited. The polling stations will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday in mainland France and no interview, poll or estimate may be published before the results.

St-Pierre-et-Miquelon got the ball rolling at 8 a.m. (noon in Paris), followed by Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. Then comes the Pacific, with Polynesia which will start voting when it is 8 p.m. in Paris, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia. In the Indian Ocean, where the time difference is less, Reunion will vote on Sunday at 6 a.m. Paris time and Mayotte at 7 a.m.

“An unprecedented campaign”

Some French people living abroad are also ahead, but those residing in Shanghai will not be able to vote, the largest city in China being confined in the name of the Chinese zero Covid strategy.

In France, surgical masks will be available in all polling stations. Wearing them will not be compulsory, but “strongly recommended” for fragile people and those who have recently tested positive for Covid-19. Fragile people may also request priority access.

“We experienced a strange campaign which took place in rupture with all the imagination of the presidential elections”, explains to AFP Frédéric Dabi, director of Ifop.

An “unprecedented” campaign for several reasons: the war in Ukraine which “anaesthetized” it, “low interest” which contrasts with the previous elections, and the absence of “the usual confrontation of projects” between the candidates in run. To ward off indecision and abstention, the candidates multiplied the last week of the campaign: last major meetings, media exposure, final field trips.

Original article published on BFMTV.com

VIDEO – Frédéric Dabi (director of Ifop): “Not to vote is to leave the democratic game, to be a second-class citizen”

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