French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron and centrist candidate for reelection delivers his speech during a meeting in Paris, Saturday, April 2, 2022. Image Credit: AP

Paris: Turnout for the French presidential run-off stood at 63.2 percent at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday, down by more than two percentage points from the same time in the second round of the 2017 presidential race, the interior ministry said.

Participation was also two percentage points below what it had been at 5:00 pm in the first round of voting on April 10, when President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen advanced to the run-off.

On the basis of the official figures, polling organisations estimated that the abstention rate was on course for 28 percent which, if confirmed, would be the highest in any presidential election second-round run-off since 1969.

Analysts have cautioned that low turnout could swing the final result in either direction, even though opinion polls have given Macron a comfortable lead against Le Pen over the past two weeks.