France to choose between Macron, Le Pen in presidential face-off

Paris: On Sunday, French voters will choose between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the run-off vote to elect a new leader following a divisive campaign.

In order to win, the two contenders, who also contested the presidential run-off in the 2017 election, will need to attract voters who backed other candidates in the first round on April 10, says a BBC report.

“But these are two polarising figures in France, and no votes are guaranteed,” the report said.

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What remains unclear in these elections is how many voters will refuse to back either candidate, whether by casting a blank ballot or not turning out at all.

Much of France is on holiday and turnout could be historically low, the report noted.

According to opinion polls, voter turnout could be the lowest since 1969.

Voting stations will open at 8 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

On Sunday evening, Macron, who is aiming to become the first sitting president to win a second term for 20 years, is scheduled to make an address from a stage at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

Campaigning ended at midnight on Friday.

Meanwhile, the gap in the opinion polls has widened slightly since the first round vote on April 10 in which Macron won 27.85 per cent and Le Pen came second with 23.15 per cent.

The latest Harris/Challenges poll conducted between April 15-18 have placed Macron 54.0 per cent and Le Pen at 46.0 per cent, the BBC reported.

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