- Title: Masks and sanitisers fail to bring French voters to polls
- Date: 28th June 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (JUNE 28, 2020) (REUTERS) VOTER RUBBING HANDS WITH SANITISING GEL IN A VOTING PRECINCT IN 5TH DISTRICT VOTER CASTING BALLOT VOTER QUEUING WITH HIS BALLOT AND ID VOTERS QUEUING VOTER WALKING PAST FLOOR MARKINGS TO REMIND PEOPLE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING (SOUNDBITE) (French) UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, JEAN-LOUIS GIOVANNANGELI SAYING: "I didn't vote during the first round, because we were at the very start of the epidemic, and it was not clear that these sanitary measures would be in place. So nothing was certain at that time. And as you know, gatherings and large groupings were conducive to spreading the virus. This is why we avoided coming to vote during the first round, for health and safety reasons. But today, it's a bit normal, the attendance is like any other Sunday, and it looks like a normal civic activity." VOTERS QUEUEING OUTSIDE SCHOOL CLASSROOM-TURNED-POLLING STATION (SOUNDBITE) (French) FINANCE DIRECTOR, LAETITIA DE MATHAN, SAYING: "I have the impression that there is less participation. We get here, there's not a lot of people, we don't need to wait. It's true that in the first round, there wasn't high participation either in this polling station." VOTER COLLECTING BALLOT PAPERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) PENSIONER EVELYN SAYING: "I have the impression that there's less people, but maybe it depends on the time, on the market hours. But as I had to represent two other voters, I've been to two different voting stations, and I think there aren't many people." POLLING STATION OFFICIALS IN MASKS VOTER SHOWING HIS ID POLLING STATION WORKER WIPING PLASTIC FILM BARRIER ABOVE BALLOT BOX VOTER BEHIND PLASTIC BARRIER VOTER SIGNING ELECTORAL LIST (SOUNDBITE) (French) PENSIONER, MATHIEU LAFOND, SPEAKING ABOUT MACRON'S REMAINING TIME, SAYING: "I am hoping for strong and realistic programmes on environment, not blah blah, and different from what the 'supposed' ecologists propose." VOTER COLLECTING BALLOT PAPERS IN VOTING PRECINCT IN 18TH DISTRICT BALLOTS FOR INCUMBENT MAYOR ANNE HIDALGO OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY VOTER TAKING BALLOTS BALLOTS FOR MAYORAL CANDIDATE RACHIDA DATI, OF LES REPUBLICAINS PARTY VOTER DROPPING BALLOT IN BOX VOTER LEAVING VOTING BOOTH POLLING STATION OFFICIAL VARIOUS OF BENEDICTINE NUNS FROM SACRE COEUR MONTMARTRE QUEUING TO VOTE
- Embargoed: 12th July 2020 15:08
- Keywords: Macron ballots mandate mayoral elections municipal elections polls voting
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001CKAA347
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Voters in France donned face masks to cast their ballots on Sunday (June 28) in a delayed second round of country-wide municipal elections, a mid-term test for President Emmanuel Macron and his ruling party which could fail to win a single big city.
Polling stations were equipped with alcohol gel and masks, and voters were required to observe social distancing.
Participation rate was at 34.67% as of 5:00 p.m (1500GMT), compared to about 52.36% in the last municipal elections in 2014.
A year ago Macron had hoped the local elections would help anchor his young party in towns and cities across France, including Paris, ahead of an anticipated 2022 re-election bid. But more recently, presidential aides have been playing down expectations.
In the capital, the election's biggest prize, the sitting socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo is on track for a comfortable win after a shambolic campaign by Macron and his La Republique en Marche (LaRem) party, even as some voters played down the role of Macron's backing of the candidates.
France pressed ahead with the first round of the municipal elections in mid-March, less than 48 hours before Macron imposed one of Europe's strictest lockdowns, forcing a three-month delay before the second round.
(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Yonathan Van der Voort, Antony Paone)
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