French presidential elections: how the imponderable of turnout can upset poll predictions


France goes to the polls on Sunday in the first round of presidential elections, when the two highest-placed candidates out of a total of 12 will move on to the final deciding round on April 24th. While opinion surveys see a tightening race, with the far-right's Marine Le Pen closing in on Emmanuel Macron's lead, and radical-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon lying third, one of the key factors that can sway the outcome is turnout, a regular imponderable in French elections and which, as in the past, may yet upset poll predictions. Mathilde Goanec reports.

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As France gears up for the first round of presidential elections on Sunday, one of the major question marks over the results is how strong the abstention rate will be.