Midday turnout at 26.41% as Macron, Le Pen vie for French presidency
Polls opened on Sunday for the second round of the French presidential election between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and candidate Marine Le Pen. The voter turnout was 26.41 percent by midday (1000 GMT).
Macron, 44, topped the first round of the election on April 10 with 27.8 percent of votes cast. The incumbent is aiming to become the first president to win re-election since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
Le Pen, who took 23.1 percent of the first-round vote, is making her third run for the presidency. The 53-year-old politician is hoping to become the first woman to hold the job.
Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) and will close at 1800 GMT, when the first exit polls will be published.
Eligible voters in French overseas territories already cast their ballots on Saturday.
Some 48.7 million are registered to vote, though pollsters have warned that turnout could be lower than in the first round, when one in four abstained from voting.
During the first round held on April 10, 35,923,707 voters had cast their ballots.
In 2017, Macron and Le Pen also competed for the French presidency in a runoff vote, during which Macron was elected president with 66.1 percent of the votes.