Voting opens in France runoff between Macron and Le Pen

France began voting in a presidential runoff election Sunday in a race between between incumbent Emmanuel Macron and far-right politician Marine Le Pen.

Macron is in pole position to win reelection in the country’s presidential runoff, yet his lead over Le Pen depends on one major uncertainty: voters who could decide to stay home.

A Macron victory in this vote — which could have far-reaching repercussions for Europe’s future direction and Western efforts to stop the war in Ukraine — would make him the first French president in 20 years to win a second term.

All opinion polls in recent days converge toward a win for the 44-year-old pro-European centrist — yet the margin over his nationalist rival varies broadly, from 6 to 15 percentage points, depending on the poll. Polls also forecast a possibly record-high number of people who will either cast a blank vote or not vote at all.

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