France Heads to the Polls to Choose Between Centrist Macron and Far-right Le Pen

Published May 7th, 2017 - 07:00 GMT
People register at a polling station during the second round of France's presidential election in Hong Kong on May 7, 2017. (AFP/Dale de la Ray)
People register at a polling station during the second round of France's presidential election in Hong Kong on May 7, 2017. (AFP/Dale de la Ray)

French voters head to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballots in the second round of the country's presidential election.

They will choose between pro-EU liberal Emmanuel Macron and eurosceptic far-right leader Marine Le Pen, with the last opinion polls giving Macron a lead of 23 to 26 percentage points over Le Pen.

Macron, 39, got a boost in the last days of the campaign from his self-assured performance in an insult-laden televised debate on Wednesday, with Le Pen appearing shaky on her facts.

It was unclear, however, whether a "massive and coordinated" hacking attack on Macron's campaign, in which emails and documents were leaked just ahead of voting on Friday, would have an impact on the vote

A former economy minister and a strong pro-European, Macron calls for liberalizing economic reforms accompanied by investment in training, and he hopes to build a new centrist political majority.

Le Pen, 48, promises to replace the euro with parallel national and European currencies, restructure the EU as an alliance of sovereign nations or pull out altogether, protect workers' rights and halt immigration.

Polling stations open at 8 am (0600 GMT). Voters in some French overseas territories in the Americas and the Pacific cast their ballots on Saturday.

Soon after the last stations close at 8 pm, local media are expected to publish projections of the final result based on partial voting figures released by the Interior Ministry.

The winning candidate will formally take over from outgoing President Francois Hollande on Sunday May 14 at the latest.


© 2021 dpa GmbH

You may also like