by Jerome a Paris
Sun Apr 22nd, 2007 at 12:18:23 PM EST
Bring here all the information you can find! (Or email it to me).
The biggest piece of news so far is the record level for participation, officially at 73.87% at 5pm, 15% higher than in 2002. It could reach 87% altogether, possibly the highest ever recorded - and that with record numbers of people having registered on the voting lists.
See Why the French election matters to all progressives for background and context.
See Laurent Guerby's earlier thread for information on how voting went throughout the day
Update [2007-4-22 14:3:30 by Jerome a Paris]: First official estimates in French media:
Le Pen: 11%
Update [2007-4-22 16:52:50 by Jerome a Paris]: As usual, my ability to make prognoses has been clouded by wishful thinking. I was pretty close on Royal (I gave her 24%) and Bayrou (I gave him 16 or 18%), but I move 10% from Sarkozy to Le Pen (I gave them both 21%). I guess I did not think his rightwards move would be taken quite so well. In a sense, it's good news, as Le Pen is down to less scary levels, and it means that Sarkozy will now have to fight his own extremist image. On the other hand, it does mean that the ideas of Le Pen has moved into the mainstream and towards increasing respectability.
All the candidates of the left have called to vote for Royal (which adds about 11% to her score), while no one has called to vote for Sarkozy. Beyond the hardcore Le Pen voters, the biggest chunk to conquer are the voters of Bayrou, whether because they are really centrists, or because they could not stand either of the big 2. There's certainly been more appeals to Bayrouists from the Royal supporters on TV than from the Sarkozy barons. We'll see.