over 30% of votes cast in France's presidential election




French voters have turned out in their droves in the country's presidential election between Nicolas Sarkozy and his challenger Francois Hollande.

By noon, just over 30% of France's 46 million eligible voters had cast their ballot. The polls are set to close at 8pm.

Hollande is seen as the favourite to become the first Socialist President of France in nearly two decades, despite recent polls showing that Sarkozy had narrowed his lead.

Mr Hollande voted in his electoral fief of Tulle, in central France. Live television coverage showed the 57-year-old politician shaking hands and chatting with voters on his way into the polling station.

“It’s going to be a long day,” Mr Hollande told reporters gathered to watch him vote. “It’s up to the French people to decide if it’s going to be a good day,” he said.

Mr Sarkozy, accompanied by first lady and former supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, voted at midday in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. Scores of television cameras surrounded the couple, and members of the public could be heard chanting “Sarkozy! President!” But Mr Sarkozy, 57, chose not to speak on live TV.

At midday voter turnout was 30.66%, down from 34.11% at the same time in the second round of the 2007 presidential election, according to figures released by the interior ministry.

More on this topic

France's Macron got 10m more votes than Le Pen in electionFrance's Macron got 10m more votes than Le Pen in election

French Socialists eye unity after pollFrench Socialists eye unity after poll

Hollande vows to keep burka banHollande vows to keep burka ban

Sarkozy awaits local election results


More in this Section

Severe cyclone approaches India’s financial capital MumbaiSevere cyclone approaches India’s financial capital Mumbai

Customers in UK want sanitiser in shopping centres and 10-minute queue times – pollCustomers in UK want sanitiser in shopping centres and 10-minute queue times – poll

Lancet ‘expresses concern’ over hydroxychloroquine paperLancet ‘expresses concern’ over hydroxychloroquine paper

Protesters defy curfews to return to US streets as Trump decries ‘lowlifes’Protesters defy curfews to return to US streets as Trump decries ‘lowlifes’


Lifestyle

David Brophy's new choir and a classic Ireland v Holland game feature among today's top tips.Thursday's TV Highlights: David Brophy's new choir and a classic Ireland v Holland game

More From The Irish Examiner