The first round of the French presidential election kicked off on Sunday, with citizens in the country’s overseas territories casting their ballots on Saturday. According to opinion polls, out of the 12 candidates, the incumbent president, Emmanuel Macron, and the National Rally party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, will most likely make it to the second round of the vote on April 24.
Polling stations close at 1800 GMT, with the first exit polls expected shortly thereafter. Some experts have warned of low turnout, with younger and low-income voters likely to abstain.
According to some analysts, until recently, Macron was comfortably in the lead; however, a combination of several factors, including his plan to increase the retirement age, rising inflation, and his late official entry into the race, has somewhat dampened popular support.