Belgian daily: French exit polls show Macron heading to victory

Brussels, Apr 24 (EFE).- French President Emmanuel Macron should win his country’s presidential runoff election on Sunday with between 55-58 percent of the vote, Belgium’s La Libre Belgique daily reported, basing its projection on four exit surveys conducted by French polling firms.

The ultrarightist candidate facing off against Macron in the runoff, Marine Le Pen, should receive between 42-45 percent of the votes, the Belgian news outlet said, noting that these results are merely preliminary and could change.

Although French law prohibits the publishing of exit polling results, partial recounts or election estimates prior to 8 pm on Sunday, election day, foreign media outlets are not subject to those restrictions and Belgian media are following with great interest the presidential vote in the neighboring country.

The exit polls were conducted via the Internet by French public opinion survey firms among a representative sampling of French voters who had cast their ballots as of 5 pm on Sunday, La Libre Belgique added.

Participation in the second round of the French presidential elections was 63.23 percent as of 5 pm, two hours before the polls were scheduled to close, a result two percentage points below participation in the first presidential election round two weeks ago and the lowest percentage voter turnout recorded since 1969, when conservative former Prime Minister Georges Pompidou defeated centrist candidate Alain Poher after President Charles de Gaulle resigned.

Macron has been the favorite in voter surveys over the past few months, and thus it would be no surprise if the results from the French polling firms – as reported by La Libre Belgique, one of Belgium’s main French-language dailies – hold true, although the first official election results are not scheduled to be released until 8 pm.

EFE lzu/amg/bp

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