The voting centers of the first round of the French presidential elections were closed and the first official results are awaited. However, according to the first estimates of the polling institutes, the centrist president Emmanuel Macron would be the most voted candidate this Sunday and would face the far-right Marine Le Pen in the ballotage. Thus Macron, in power since 2017, obtained between 27.6% and 29.7% of the vote, followed by Le Pen (23.5% and 24.7%), according to those estimates. The leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon (19.8% and 20.8%) would remain at the gates of the second round that will take place on April 24.

After the estimates became known, the French president received the backing of socialist, communist, green and right-wing candidates defeated in his runoff election battle this month against far-right leader Marine Le Pen. In a boost for Macron, Communist Party candidate Fabien Roussel, Socialist Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot of the Greens and Right-wing Republicans candidate Valerie Pecresse said they would vote for him to prevent the far-right leader from come to power.

Melenchonthe third and who has the largest number of votes to be distributed, was happy with the support received and without saying so, he also supported Macron. “Le Pen should not be given a single vote. I’m going to repeat it: you shouldn’t give Le Pen a single vote, you shouldn’t give Le Pen a single vote. Was it understood? I think my message was clear, ”he assured from his bunker.

The vote, held after an atypical campaign marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, also sharpens the decline that began in 2017 of the traditional parties – the Socialists and the Republicans (right) -, which would achieve less than 10% of the vote in total. all of it in a context of increased abstention. Participation in the first round at 5:00 p.m. was 65%, 4.4 points less than in 2017 at that time and 6.55 points more than in 2002, the year with the record for abstention in a presidential election, according to figures from the Ministry of Inside. Political scientists feared another high.

Five years ago it was the two who starred in the last duel, and Macron emerged as the winner with 66.10% of the votes, while the second ended with 33.90%.

One of the keys of this day could be in the level of abstention. According to the official part released at 5:00 p.m. by the Ministry of the Interior, 65% participation was reached, more than four points less than in 2017, when 69.42% of the list voted. At noon, this rate was 25.48%, compared to 28.54% five years ago.

The record for low participation in a first round in the Fifth Republic is 58.45% from 2002, in which the Front National candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, achieved a surprising second place that allowed him to reach the second round.

In France, the publication of any result, partial or final, is prohibited until the closing of the last schools at 8:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. GMT) and that is when the media will release the first estimates based on exit polls.

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