Since Friday night the political parties, media and opinion polls have been silenced: no one is allowed to comment on the possible outcome.
Today, Sunday, the weather is forecasted to be changeable with rain and showers which is pushing the voters to the voting booths. In the small villages and towns, the votes take place in the town hall, run by the elected council.
Everybody seems to be voting: there is nothing to watch on the TV, no sporting events to attend and the weather is not that pleasant.
So who are they voting for? The last we heard, the French are totally uninspired by the two favourites. So, are the voters being radical? The turnout has been 70% less than in previous elections. There could be a big surprise with the first results as many French seem to want to radicalize the political scene and show their frustration.
Are we going to see a surge of support for the National Front?
Will the non-favourites finally be taken seriously?
Today is an important day for my son (aged 18), as he has voted for the first time. Even if the vote is obligatory in France, he has been determined to voice his opinion (although he will not tell me which way voted). He has confirmed that many of his friends have also done so.
Rumours are… a big push towards the left wing Socialist party. Remember, if Hollande has more than 50% of the vote, there is no second round. We have to wait a few more hours for counts. The first estimations will be given at 20.00 (French time).
(François Mitterrand was the last Socialist president, since then there have been two right wing presidents: Chirac and Sarkozy.)
So the polls are saying this:
François Hollande = 29%
Nicolas Sarkozy = 27%
Marine Le Pen = 18%,
Jean-Luc Mélenchon = 10%
François Bayrou = 9%
Eva Joly = 2%
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan = 2%
Philippe Poutou = 1%
Nathalie Arthaud = 0.5%
Which means the French do not change that much: it is still the same two parties fighting it out.
The next round is in two weeks’ time, on the 6th May 2012, when we will have a vote between the two main candidates: Hollande on the left and Sarkozy on the right.