Largest voter boycott in French history

Since the polls opened in France this morning, only 28% have cast their ballots, a low turnout compared to previous years. However, a poll published today showed that 32% of voters will be boycotting the election in some way, the largest boycott in France's electoral history.

Watch: France's presidential candidates cast their ballots and are greeted by voters

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The polling stations in France have opened and the biggest question right now is, what will be the voter turnout? How many French will head to the polls today to cast their ballot in what is considered a crucial election not only for France but for the European Union as well?

The two candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, were welcomed with smiles and heartfelt congratulations at the polls, where they each voted. While the polls predict a substantial advantage for Le Pen (62% vs. 38%), the cold weather, apathy and scandals may deter millions of voters, thus making the race that much closer. 

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As of 1:00 PM (IST), only 28.23% of voters have cast their ballot, compared to 2012’s 30.66%; a low turnout likely to serve Le Pen. A Cevipof Poll published in France reports that millions are planning to boycott the elections: 32% of voters do not intend to vote for Le Pen or Macron, which represents one of the highest electoral boycotts in France's history. According to the polls, while some do not to intend to vote at all, others intend to cast a white ballot.

Activists claim it is a choice between two demons: big money and fascism. It is believed that most of the abstainers are supporters of the two candidates, who did not pass the first round.

Poll: 32% will boycott election Photo Credit: EPA, Jerome Favre/Channel 2 News

Macron, who voted in the northern beach town of Le Touquet along with his wife Brigitte, was greeted with smiles and hugs. Similary, Le Pen, who voted in the National Front controlled city of Henin-Beaumont, was greeted warmly, though hours earlier, feminist activists were arrested after an anti-Le Pen banner was hung from a nearby church.

Also spotted at the polls, French President Francois Hollande once again expressed his support for Macron, saying that he is the candidate that will continue to lead France in the right direction.



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