D-Day! After several months of campaigning, the 44.5 million French voters are heading to the polls today to select between the two finalists of the 2012 French Presidential Election, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, who would become the seventh president of the Fifth Republic.
Earlier in the day, the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, voted in Paris, while Francois Hollande casted his ballot at the polling station of Tulle in the Correze, a town where has been voting for 32 years now.
Just like for the first round, most French have expressed curiosity and eagerness to know the voting trends and results between the two runner-ups before the legal hour of 8 p.m. But the French Electoral Code prohibits dissemination trends or exist polls before that official closing time of all polling stations.
Unfortunately for the authorities, social networks, and mostly Twitter, have helped people circumvent the law without risking too much. Thus with the hashtag #RadioLondres most Twitter users have been able, since Saturday, to share exist polls from overseas departments and the Americas in secret coded tweets.
And just like in the first round, the Swiss and Belgian media have also promised to provide exist and final results before the legal hour. Either way they have no much to fear as they are not governed by French law.
Moreover, it is by this means that most French people already know the name of the winner of the election. In fact, according to several pollsters, relayed by the Swiss press, apparently “he” would be leading his opponent by 5 to 6 points.
Even some French media are playing the game. The news website La Tribune, for example, has written an article listing reliable people to follow on Twitter if you want to be informed in about the voting trends in real time.
The only data released during the day, by the authorities, is the voters’ participation. Indeed by 5 p.m. the Interior Ministry reported a turnout for the second round of the presidential election of 71.9%, in France metropolis. This figure is higher than the 70.59% recorded at the same time in the first round, but it is lower than 2007 score (75.11%).
In the meantime, while the authorities are preciously keeping the information regarding the winner of the the presidential election, when they finally unveil his name most French will probably know already.