France votes for new President

International News

News website The Local France has suggested an interesting way of comparing the top candidates for the French presidency.

To get a flavour of their policy ideas and where they stand on the issues that really matter, you could digest their manifesto pledges or you could, says the publication, compare them with French cheeses. 

Click on the link in this tweet if you fancy a slice of the action.

Turnout slightly down on 2012 so far

The latest figures on today’s turnout for the first round of the French presidential election put the number slightly lower than at recent previous elections, despite predictions that overall turnout was on course for 80%. 

The French interior ministry is reporting that, for the time period in the voting process up to 15:00 local time, the ministry has this year’s figures at 69.42%, compared with 70.59% in 2012 and 73.87% in 2007. 

The turnout for the same time period on the day of voting in 2002 was 58.45%, Reuters news agency reports. 

Reporters from the Bondy Blog – a news organisation funded by several mainstream media organisations that chronicles life in France’s deprived suburbs or “banlieues” – have been at polling stations to assess the mood there.

Above is a picture of a mother who had brought her daughter to vote for the first time in the north-eastern Paris suburb of Bondy.

Reporter Sarah Ichou also quotes two women aged 20 as saying: “If we want the country to change we have to participate in this. Talking is great but you have to act too.” 

However reporters also spoke to many who declared that they would not vote, giving various reasons.

The suburbs around Paris had registered the lowest turnout in the country at midday, with fewer than a quarter of eligible voters having cast their ballots thus far.

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