Polls open in France's runoff presidential election

Xinhua Published: 2017-05-07 14:45:29
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Polling stations opened on France's European mainland on Sunday for a decisive round of the presidential election between centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-rightist Marine Le Pen.

A man casts his ballot in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. [Photo: AP/Claude Paris]

A man casts his ballot in the presidential runoff election between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, in Marseille, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. [Photo: AP/Claude Paris]

More than 66,000 polling stations in the French European mainland opened at 08:00 local time (0600 GMT) and are scheduled to close at 20:00 (1800 GMT) in big cities, while the rest will close at 19:00 (1700 GMT).

Nearly 47 million voters are expected to cast their ballots. 

French voters in overseas territories casted their votes on Saturday, but the results will be only known after all votes are casted on the mainland.

Official campaigning period ended Friday night, signalling the start of a blackout on any campaigning activities, according to French electoral law.

The law bans the publication of any early poll or counting results of the vote before all polling stations are closed.

Preliminary projections of the voting results are expected to be revealed by various sources after 20:00.

Macron and Le Pen topped the first round vote of the election on April 23, with 24.01 percent and 21.30 percent of votes, respectively.

Several major French opinion polls conducted after the first round have been consistent, which estimate that former economy minister Macron is likely to win the runoff after an intense campaign against Le Pen. 

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