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French European election turnout higher at midday that 2009

A polling station in the French town of Hénin-Beaumont
A polling station in the French town of Hénin-Beaumont Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Voter turnout in Sunday's European elections in France was slightly higher at midday  than at the same time during the previous vote five years ago, despite opinion polls indicating there would be a record abstention rate.

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Turnout in France at midday Sunday was 15.7 per cent, compared to 14.81 per cent on 7 June 2009, raising the possibility that more voters might go to the polls than predicted.

Successive European elections have seen a decline in turnout:

  • 1984: 56.70 per cent;
  • 1989: 48.80 per cent;
  • 1994: 52.76 per cent;
  • 1999: 46.76 per cent;
  • 2004: 42.76 per cent;
  • 2009: 40.81 per cent.

With seven European countries having voted earlier in the week, France joins 21 others in voting on Sunday and no result will be announced until Italy’s polls close at 11.00pm, although exit polls will be available earlier in the evening.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

France elects 74 of the 751 MEPs.

Europhobes and Eurosceptics were expected to do well in the vote for the new European parliament, although not to win enough seats to change the balance of power.

The radical left, led by Alexis Tsipras of Greece’s Syriza, was hoping to make significant advances, largely due to austerity policies in southern Europe.

For the first time ever the head of the European parliament bloc that comes out ahead on Sunday will become the chair of the European Commission.
 

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