The second round of the French presidential election on Sunday recorded a 26.41% turnout at noon, as electorates appear less enthusiastic to choose between the final candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
Of the 48.7 million registered voters, only 26.41% participated in voting till noon, the lowest turnout since 2002, according to data released by the Interior Ministry. In comparison, the turnout during the second round of the 2017 presidential elections at noon was 28.23%, and 30.66% in 2012.
Polls conducted prior to the voting suggested many voters would shun the ballot as they are not motivated to re-elect the incumbent president or far-right candidate Le Pen.
Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0600GMT) across the country and will close at 7 p.m. outside of the big cities, where the deadline will be an hour later.
Polling began a day earlier in the overseas territory of France and for the French living abroad due to differences in time zones.
Nearly 4,800 registered French voters in China’s Shanghai will miss out on voting for the second round as well due to stringent COVID-19 lockdown rules in the city.
Exit polls are expected to be released as soon as voting is over.