The first round of overseas voting has begun

The first voters, Saturday, April 9, began heading to the polls abroad and abroad for the first round of the presidential elections, while the capital has to wait until Sunday to choose among the twelve candidates in the seemingly narrow ballot.

Unknown from this eleventh presidential election by universal suffrage for V.And Republic: the percentage of abstentions. Many political scientists fear that the record set on April 21, 2002 (28.4%), the highest ever recorded in the first round of a presidential election, could be defeated. In 2017, which was not already well antiquated, this rate rose to 22.2% in 2017. The new element is the high rate of undecided voters, which creates uncertainty ” Important “ on the ballot, according to political scientist Pascal Perino.

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Pending the first results on Sunday at 8 p.m., public meetings, the distribution of publications and digital advertising are prohibited. Polling stations will open at 8am on Sunday in mainland France and no interview, poll or estimate will be published before the results.

However, two of the candidates, Yannick Gadot of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, and La France Insoumise candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, went to Saturday’s rally in Paris for climate and social justice.

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They are deprived of their rights in Shanghai

To account for the time difference, some voters outside voted on Saturday. Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon got the ball at 8 am (noon in Paris), followed by Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

Then the Pacific took over, with Polynesia beginning to vote when it was eight in the evening in Paris, Wallis, Futuna and New Caledonia. In Polynesia, turnout was 12.34% at noon compared to 22.24% at the same time in 2017, according to estimates by the High Commission.

In the Indian Ocean, where the time difference is less, Reunion will vote on Sunday at 6 am Paris and Mayotte at 7 am. Some French living abroad are also applying, but residents of Shanghai will not be able to vote, as China’s largest city is restricted in the name of China’s zero Covid strategy.

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“Formalize the discussions”

“We experienced a strange campaign that took place at odds with all presidential election fantasies.”Explains Frederic Dabi, Director of IFOP. village “Unpublished” For several reasons: the war in Ukraine that “anesthetic”a ‘little caring’ Which contrasts with the previous elections, the absence of “The usual confrontation of projects” among the competing candidates.

“We have a kind of archipelago of discussions with small duels.”, particularly between the far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour (Reconquête!), and on the right, candidate Valérie Pecres (Les Républicains), or between “rebels” Jean-Luc Mélenchon and other candidates of the fragmented left, ecologist Yannick Gadot, communist Fabian Roussel, socialism Anne Hidalgo or Trotskyists Philip Bhutto and Natalie Arthod. Sovereign politician Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Bernet’s deputy Jean LaSalle both lamented the campaign without discussion.

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A “corroded” republican front

To avoid hesitation and abstention, the number of candidates doubled in the final week of the campaign: last major meetings, media exposure, and final field trips.

The outgoing president, who has always been at the top of the polls, entered the campaign late, first prevented by the health crisis, and then the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. He focused on one major national meeting, Saturday 2 April in La Défense, but gave a boost to the weekend, with so many interviews, that he even made an impromptu visit to a market in Neuilly on Friday 8 April on the Seine.

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National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen, who made her last trip to Aude on Friday, fired upward momentum after becoming wary of far-right rival Eric Zemmour, consolidating second place and then gradually narrowing the gap with Emmanuel. Macron. Jean-Luc Melenchon gradually rose to third place. But political scientists do not rule out that the surprise could shake this trifecta presented by opinion polls.

Even before the result of the first round, many candidates portrayed themselves in the prism of the Macron-Le Pen duel in the second round, revealing cracks in the “Republican Front” against the far right. The Republican Front was not what it had been for some time. It’s corroded top and bottom.”explained to AFP, the director of the Jean Jaures Foundation, Gilles Finchelstein. “remains a spring”but I think this spring “Enough is an illusion”.

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Le Monde and Agence France-Presse

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