- Title: Uncertainty remains high five days before French presidential election
- Date: 18th April 2017
- Summary: POSTER OF MACRON
- Embargoed: 2nd May 2017 12:10
- Keywords: French presidential election candidates posters uncertainty Paris market
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0026CXENNR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Uncertainty levels remain high among voters in France with less than a week to go before the first round of the most unpredictable French presidential election in decades.
With indecision a major factor, polls show the race is so tight between the top four candidates that each has a chance of making the two-person run-off vote - therefore presenting no fewer than six second round scenarios.
French voters passing through a central Parisian market on Tuesday (April 18) told Reuters TV that either they were still undecided as to who to vote for, or that they felt forced to vote strategically to block certain candidates from becoming their next president instead of voting out of real conviction.
Judging from history, turnout will be the key variable. In past elections, the higher the abstention rate in the first round of voting, the lower the hurdle candidates had to clear in order to qualify.
Polls have consistently suggested centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will score highest in the first round with about 22-24 percent of the vote each - and thereby qualify for the run-off second round.
But conservative Francois Fillon and hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon are not far behind, touching 20 percent in some polls, putting both in striking distance of qualifying when taking margins of error into account.
Polls have consistently suggested that the turnout will be low. An Elabe poll on Monday found that only 68 percent of those surveyed were certain to vote.
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