France Election: Polls Open as Macron and Le Pen Battle for French Presidency

The polls have opened in France for the second round of the presidential election, where voters would have a choice to give Emmanuel Macron another term of five years or elect Marine Le Pen.

Macron is preferred, but the second term would be determined by whether he finishes with a convincing victory. Both the candidates, Macron and Le Pen, need to convince almost 50% of voters who did not choose either of them in the first round of ballot two weeks ago. 

The abstention and number of people protesting voting by casting a blank ballot, since various supporters of “third man,” the radical left’s Jean-Luc Melenchon has promised, may impact the result. 

The ex-prime minister Edouard Philippe, the mayor of Le Havre, was one of the first to vote at the local polling station. Macron to vote in Le Touquet, where he, and Brigitte, his wife, have a home. Le Pen voted at Henin Beaumont in Northern France after 11 am. She was attended by the crowd of supporters outside the polling station, chanting “Marine” and struggling to take selfies with her.

The mayor of Paris and the Socialist Party presidential candidate, Anne Hidalgo, voted in Paris 45 minutes after opening polling stations. Valerie Pecresse, the candidate for the conservative Les Republicains, voted shortly later on. They were followed by Melenchon, who voted in Marseille, and the prime minister, Jean Castex, who voted in his hometown in Prades in the Pyrenees-Orientales in southern France. 

Approximately 48.7 million people are registered to vote. However, pollsters had announced that turnout could be lesser than in the first round when one in four abstained from voting. 

Some voters in Paris’s 19th arrondissement had to wait for more than 2 hours to cast votes in the first round of the election on April 10, so they arrived early. 2022