While French pollsters and poli-pundits are prohibited from providing “hot-takes” or preliminary exit-polls ahead of the closing of polls at 8pm local time, the Belgian press is not similarly constrained, and according to L’Echo, citing early exit polls, Macron would win the vote with between 63% and 64% of the vote, while empty ballots would represents about 10%.
The Belgian newspaper adds that, as noted earlier, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, the participation rate in metropolitan France at 5pm amounted to 65.30%, the lowest participation rate in decades. It also adds that the abstention rate in today’s vote is expected to reach 25% to 27% on the day.
Still, as the Telegraph cautions, while it was thought that Mr Macron could build a larger voting base than Ms Le Pen – as he was expected to mop up votes in the second round from those who support mainstream Right and Left candidates in the first – it appeared last night that a large number of supporters for the conservative, Francois Fillon, and the far-Left Jean-Luc Melenchon stayed home on election day. And a vast number chose to spoil their ballots or abstain at the polls – as many as 29% of voters, according to one estimate.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 7, 2017.