Presidential 2022: what time will the results of the first round be known?

“Voted! Since this Sunday morning, the French have been going to their polling stations all over the country. They choose their favorite candidate in the secret of the polling booth in this first round of the presidential election† Once out of the office, a long wait begins, especially for the candidates, to know the results.

Indeed, the French media has the formal ban on revealing the first tendencies before the polls close. This is clearly a precautionary measure by the government to avoid any influence on voters about the smooth running of the vote† “No result, partial or final, can be communicated to the public in mainland France through the press or any other means of communication to the public before the closing of the last polling station,” the official website reads.

Foreign sites are frequently consulted on election days

In France, most polling stations close at 7 p.m. sharp. In certain cities, exceptions are foreseen to delay the closure of offices by one hour. The French media therefore do not publish any results before 8 p.m. And this even if they receive the first estimates of the counts of the first offices to close.

But in the age of social networks, the French have the opportunity to obtain information very easily on the first trends saying “leaving the ballot box”. The polling stations conduct surveys by interviewing voters at the exit of polling stations. They deduce estimates that some foreign media, in no way restricted by French law, do not hesitate to publish.

In 2017, various Belgian media published the first official results well before 8 p.m. For example, on the day of the first round, RTBF had published on Twitter at 5:23 p.m.: “According to several converging studies, Macron is in the lead ahead of Le Pen, Fillon and Mélenchon in a handkerchief”.

These anticipated releases had fueled the ‘radio London’ phenomenon, as internet users used disguised messages to announce the results of the first round.

In France, at 8 p.m., the first results revealed by the French media, including Le Parisien, will not be the final results. These are polling station estimates based on the first counts. These figures nevertheless remain very reliable and will be refined during the evening by the services of the Ministry of the Interior, which is responsible for announcing the final results.

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