who benefits from strong abstinence, but less important than expected?

After months of an atypical campaign, the score looks uncertain in the first round of the presidential election. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, at 5 p.m. between 24% and 26.5% would be French.

This abstinence is strong. she is 4 to 6 points higher than 2017’s, but it’s still lower than predicted by the latest polls and lower than the record set in 2002. In other words, unexpected voters finally went to vote, in a context of strong electorate indecision. Create a surprise in the results from there?

Presidential: 65% turnout at 5 p.m., less than in 2017 and 2012

65% participation at 5pm.

At 5 p.m., turnout was 65%, or 4.4 points less than in 2017 (69.42%) and 5.5 than in 2012 (70.59). However, it is much higher than that of 2002 (58.45%), a record year for abstention in the first round of the presidential election.

The latest polls published this week promised between 25 and 28% of the vote for outgoing President Emmanuel Macron, 21.5 to 24% for the far-right candidate (RN) and 16 to 18% for the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon – these last two that were in continuous development at the end of the campaign.

Verdict expected at 8 p.m.

On this sunny Sunday, some 48.7 million voters across the country choose between the 12 candidates for the Elysée. The polls’ verdict is expected at 8 p.m., with the first estimates from polling stations.

In Les Minimes, the birthplace of the singer Claude Nougaro near the city center of Toulouse, the inhabitants are numerous in front of the polling stations.

“We have always voted and we force our children to vote or we will disinherit them!” Laughs Pascale Sylvestre-Baron, 62-year-old education manager.

“This year is a bit special, I changed my mind at the last minute about my vote because I’m really worried. Also I’m worried about the abstention rate. If people don’t mobilize in the first round after that, it’s too late It’s a bit hopeless,” the sixty-year-old continues before getting on her bike.

At a small business near another polling station, this time in the popular Mirail neighborhood, Lydie Maillot “doesn’t see the point of voting”.

“I had always voted, but now I’m really tired. What will change, everything is written down in advance, calculated. My vote counts for nothing,” estimates the 42-year-old mother, unemployed.

The polls are open: everything you need to know about the 1st round of the presidential elections

“A right we don’t want to lose”

In Marseille, Ali Msaidie leaves the polling station of the Saint-Charles 2 primary school, near the station of the same name, in a popular neighborhood with his eyes sparkling. He has just put his ballot in the ballot box, placed it in a classroom decorated with children’s drawings, and then went down the hall where there is a large map of France. At the age of 53, this is the first time that this accompanying student with a disability (AESH) has the right to vote in presidential elections in France, a country where he has lived for 21 years.

“I’ve fought for so many years to be naturalized, to have French nationality. This is the first time I can vote for a presidential election, it’s so important for me to be one of those who vote,” he said. AFP this. man born in the Comoros.

In Corsica, an incident occurred at a polling station in Patrimonio (Haute-Corse) where the lock was blocked by glue on Sunday morning, delaying the opening by half an hour this morning, the Haute-Corse prefecture reported. In Corse-du-Sud no incident, but tags flourished at the town hall of Propriano (tag IFF, I Francese Fora, the French outside) and at polling stations in Sartène and in the villages of Valle-di-Mezzana and Villanova: this one is a stencil of the figure of Yvan Colonna.

In Pantin, in the Paris region, Michèle Monnier, 77, retired, former school superintendent, also voted early. “The women of my day have been fighting to vote, so whatever the election will be, I’m going to vote,” she says as she leaves the bakery.

In Saint-Georges-de-Mons, a village of 2,000 in the Puy-de-Dôme, voters flocked to the polling station in the town’s small museum.


All candidates voted in the morning before returning to their campaign headquarters in Paris. Among the contenders who seem far removed from the second round are the candidates of the two parties that have dominated political life in France for decades, Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains) and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party).

Uncertainty remains because, warns political scientist Pascal Perrineau, “it is the first election that has reached such a number of undecided people who have changed their minds, about one in two Frenchmen”.

Started amid a wave of Covid-19, the campaign continued against the painful backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, followed by a sharp rise in the prices of certain products, notably energy.

Small duels instead of a big debate

Not a single moment was a major theme for the future that was discussed by all candidates.

“We have a kind of archipelago of debates with small duels”, says pollster Frédéric Dabi (Ifop), in particular between the extreme right polemicist Eric Zemmour and Valérie Pécresse or between Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the other candidates of a fragmented left, the ecologist Yannick Jadot, the communist Fabien Roussel, the socialist Anne Hidalgo or the Trotskyists Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud.

Sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Béarnais deputy Jean Lassalle deplored a campaign without debate.

The outgoing president, who has always topped the polls, came late in the campaign, hindered first by the health crisis and then by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He gave a boost at the end of the week with several interviews and even paid a short spontaneous visit to a market in Neuilly-sur-Seine on Friday.

Marine Le Pen has also led an atypical campaign, striving to smooth out her image and, in her speeches, to put into the background her proposals on immigration and Europe, which nevertheless remain as radical as in the past.