First round of voting has started abroad

In the overseas territories, some voters are already going to the polls for the first round of voting. In mainland France you have to wait until Sunday morning.

Quiet, let’s vote! First voters began going to the polls on Saturday, abroad and abroad to the first round of the presidential electionwhile the metropolis will have to wait until Sunday to decide between the 12 candidates, who will be kept at the utmost discretion until the end of the vote.

Huge obscurity 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 broken, much more than in 2017 (22.2%) already set. not a good harvest year.

A high percentage of undecided voters

The new element is the high percentage of undecided voterswhich according to political scientist Pascal Perrineau creates a “significant” uncertainty in the vote.

The National Commission for Election Control and the Voting Commission also called on voters on Friday to “exert the utmost caution” after the broadcast of text messages that referred to polls that are not polls and “which may be misleading information.”

Pending the first results on Sunday at 8 p.m., public gatherings, distribution of leaflets and digital propaganda are prohibited. Polling stations open at 8am on Sunday in mainland France and no interviews, polls or estimates are allowed to be published before the results.

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

“An unprecedented campaign”

Some French people living abroad are also leading the way, but those living in Shanghai will not be able to vote as China’s largest city is restricted in the name of China’s zero Covid strategy.

In France, surgical masks will be available in all polling stations. Wearing it is not mandatory, but “highly recommended” for vulnerable people and those who have recently tested positive for Covid-19. Vulnerable people can also request priority access.

“We have experienced a strange campaign that was broken with all the imagination of the presidential elections,” explains AFP Frédéric Dabi, director of Ifop.

An “unprecedented” campaign for several reasons: the war in Ukraine that “stunned it”, the “low interest” that contrasts with the previous elections, and the absence of “the usual confrontation of projects” between the candidates in the course. To avoid indecision and abstinence, the candidates multiplied in the last week of the campaign: last big meetings, media attention, last excursions.

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