French election: what you need to know

Monday, 08 May, 2017

"The turnout up till now (Sunday noon) is still lower than the first round of elections (in Beirut)", French Consul General in Beirut Cécile Longé was quoted as saying by the National News Agency. They knocked out Francois Fillon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoit Hamon.

A woman casts her vote at the city hall in Le Touquet, France, May 7, 2017.

UPDATE: 2:06 p.m. EDT - Franceinfo declared Emmanuel Macron the victor of the French presidential runoff election.

Voters will go to the polls on Sunday. Most will close at 1700 GMT, but those in big cities will stay open an hour longer.

Candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen cast their votes in Sunday's ballot. He left the bank four years later to join Francois Hollande's staff.

Then as economy minister in Hollande's government from 2014 to 2016, he promoted a package of measures, notably allowing more stores to open on Sundays and evenings and opening up regulated sectors of the economy.

The Macron team asked the campaign oversight commission to bring in cybersecurity agency ANSSI to study the hack, according to a government official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the details publicly.

His startup political movement - optimistically named, "En Marche!", or "Forward!" - caught fire in just one year, harnessing voters' hunger for new faces and new ideas and steering France into unchartered political territory. Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, on Thursday told L'Opinion daily that winning 40% of the vote would be "a huge victory" for the National Front. What part of the vote will be a rejection of the candidate of the Front National?

"I'm worried for my grandchildren, I'm worried for the world, I'm worried for the future and so on".

Emmanuel Macron attends a campaign rally in Albi, France, May 4, 2017.

Polling day follows an unprecedented campaign marked by scandal, repeated surprises and a last-minute hacking attack on Macron, a 39-year-old who has never held elected office. His lack of an established base may curtail his ability to fulfil campaign pledges to pursue closer ties to France's European neighbours and launch far-reaching reform of the economy.

He said in his manifesto that he hopes to entice British business and banks to relocate to Paris.

He has also promised to crack down on those claiming unemployment benefits who repeatedly turned down job offers.

With Obamacare vote, House Republicans free to turn to tax reform
The discussion often reveals an assumption that we are just buying a service and paying for it much as we finance a new auto . He had worked as a young staffer in the Reagan administration and once chaired a House committee that oversees health care.

Supporters of Emmanuel Macron celebrate from their window overlooking his campaign headquarters in Paris.

He ended the message with the words "Vive la France".

Ms Le Pen wants to abolish the Schengen agreement, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished across Europe.

Le Pen's close ties with other far-right groups in Europe could hinder her chances of gaining support from the centre-right.

"I know the divisions in our nation, which led some to vote for extremist parties".

Macron has extended his lead in the polls over his far-right rival.

This latest poll is an increase of three points for the centrist candidate compared to predictions in the last Elabe poll.

The poll was carried out after Wednesday's lively debate between the two final contenders. In the first round of the vote on April 30, these initial figures were fairly consistent with the final totals.

A separate poll on Friday by Odoxa said a quarter of the French electorate was likely to abstain. The voters are looking for a presidential candidate who can provide a financial stability in the country.

The turnout for the first round of the election was nearly 78%.

The result is expected to be announced at 8pm when the image of the next president of France will be shown on TV.

Regions will confirm their votes throughout the evening - when enough have been counted to verify the vote, the official victor will be announced by the French Interior Ministry.