The French start voting, participation is questionable – All Guadeloupe news online

Some 48.7 million voters have cast their ballot since 8 a.m. Sunday in the first round of the presidential election to choose between twelve Élysée candidates, including outgoing Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, at the risk of a strong abstention. .

After several months of a strange campaign that will not be passionate, the verdict of the polls is expected at 20:00 with the first assessments of public opinion institutions.

Outgoing centrist Emmanuel Macron (LREM) and Marine Le Pen (RN) are, as they were five years ago, favorites to advance to the second round on April 24, with Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI) in ambush as the 3rd man.

In Libourne, 25,000 residents in the wine-producing suburb of Bordeaux, around 8:30 am, “we see that there are people, there is a mobilization compared to other elections, such as European or regional ones,” notes Lawrence Rued, 1st MP. the mayor who heads the city hall office. “And we had 24 proxies, which is a high level.”

There is gel and new pens, but according to Ms Rued, “people have retained the reflex to come with their own pen.”

In Marseille, 480 polling stations opened without problems, the mayor’s office said.

47-year-old Karol Zhunik, who works in the civil service, came in the morning first thing: “In France, we have the right to vote, it is important to keep it; of course, we only have one vote among d others, but if everyone mobilizes it could make a difference.”

– “I hate them all” –

However, many do not hide the fact that their choice was not easy. Cédric Hodimon, in his 40s, regrets that he ended up voting “by default”.

In Pantin, Michel Monnier, 77, a retired former school superintendent, also voted early. “The women of my time fought for the right to vote, so I will go and vote in any election,” she says as she leaves the bakery. Blandine Leut, 32, actress, goes to the market with her daughter: “For the first time in my life, I’m not going to vote. I’m going to vote in the legislative elections, but here I hate them all. the scene where they scare me.”

Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo cast her vote into the ballot box shortly after 8 am in Paris. Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen are due to vote in the morning in Pas de Calais, Le Touque and Henin Beaumont respectively.

The latest polls released during the week promised 25% to 28% for Mr Macron, 21.5% to 24% for Ms Le Pen and 16% to 18% for Mélenchon. end of the campaign.

– Voters are more indecisive than ever –

Ten other contenders appear to be downgraded, notably the two parties that have dominated French politics for decades, Valerie Pecresse (Republicans) and Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party).

Uncertainty persists, in part because, warns political scientist Pascal Perrineau, “this is the first election to see such a number of undecided, changed minds, about one in two Frenchmen.”

Political scientists do not exclude, therefore, that this trifecta, given by the polls, may turn over by surprise.

The Ministry of the Interior will report the first data on the level of participation at noon. Many analysts fear that the 2002 record of 28.4% abstentions, the highest ever recorded in a first round of a presidential election, could be broken. With 22.2% abstaining, 2017 was no longer a good harvest.

Starting as the Covid-19 wave swept the country, the campaign has continued amid the harrowing backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, followed by a sharp rise in the prices of some commodities, notably energy.

– Small duels, not big debates –

There has never been a major topic for the future discussed by all candidates.

“We have a kind of archipelago of debates with little duels,” notes sociologist Frédéric Daby (IFP), notably between far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour and LR candidate Valerie Pecresse, or between Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon and other fragmented left-wing candidates, environmentalist Yannick Jadot, communist Fabien Roussel, socialist Anne Hidalgo or Trotskyists Philippe Putou and Nathalie Artaud.

Sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Béarnais MP Jean Lassalle deplored the running of the campaign without discussion.

The outgoing president, who has always been at the top of the polls, entered the campaign late, thwarted first by the health crisis and then by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the end of the week, he gave a boost by giving several interviews and even making a short impromptu visit to the Neuilly-sur-Seine market on Friday.

Marine Le Pen has also waged an atypical campaign to flatten her image and upstage her immigration and European proposals in her speeches, which nonetheless remain as radical as in the past.

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