Sunday: France votes in the 2022 presidential election

An electoral map for the first round of the 2022 presidential election in Paris, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

An electoral map for the first round of the 2022 presidential election in Paris, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Some 48.8 million eligible voters can cast ballots across France on Sunday in the first round of the country’s presidential election to choose their new president for the next five years.

They can choose between 12 candidates, including current President Emmanuel Macron.

Most polling stations in mainland France will close at 7 p.m. local time (5 p.m. GMT) or an hour later in major cities such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux.

According to a survey of voting intentions published on Wednesday by the research firm Ipsos, Macron is expected to come out on top in the first round, followed by Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Rally party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who leads the leftist party France. Insoumise Party (insubordinate France).

French President Emmanuel Macron meets residents on the day of the first round of the presidential election, in Le Touquet, northern France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron meets residents on the day of the first round of the presidential election, in Le Touquet, northern France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Emmanuel Macron: The 44-year-old worked in banking and served as economy minister under socialist President Francois Hollande before launching his own centrist En Marche party in 2016. He had never stood for public office before to win the presidency in his first attempt in 2017. He defeated Le Pen in the second round with 66.1% of the vote. As president, he pushed for business-friendly reforms but faced many challenges, from mass strikes and the yellow vest movement to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marine Le Pen votes at a polling station in Hénin-Beaumont, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Marine Le Pen votes at a polling station in Hénin-Beaumont, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Marine Le Pen : The 53-year-old succeeded as head of the National Front in 2011 from her infamous far-right father, Jean-Marie, and won a party record 17.9% in the first round of the presidential election in 2012. She renamed the party National Rally in 2017 and won 21.3%, sending it into a runoff which she lost to Macron.

Jean-Luc Melenchon votes at a polling station in Marseille, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Jean-Luc Melenchon votes at a polling station in Marseille, France, April 10, 2022. /Reuters

Jean-Luc Melenchon: The 70-year-old former socialist senator, who founded his own far-left party in 2009, supports the 32-hour working week and opposes France’s membership of NATO. He ran for president in 2012, winning 11.1% of the vote in the first round, and nearly reached the second round in 2017 with 19.6%.

Topics of interest to voters

Purchasing power is a major concern given the rise in the consumer price index of 4.5% in March 2022, after rising 3.6% the previous month.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the environment, the healthcare system, immigration and social inequality are also among the topics that French voters are most interested in, Ipsos said.

In France, it is not allowed to publish exit polls before the end of the vote.

The official preliminary results will be announced on Sunday evening or Monday morning after verification by the Ministry of the Interior.

If no candidate obtains an absolute majority of votes in the first round, a second round will take place on April 24 between the two best candidates.

No candidate has won the French presidency in the first round of voting since France’s Fifth Republic went to universal suffrage for presidential elections.

(With the contribution of the agencies)

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