Presidential 2022: When will the first round results be known?

“Chosen! Since this Sunday morning, the French have been going to their polling stations across the country. In the privacy of the voting booth, they choose their favorite candidate in this first round of the presidential election. Outside the office, a long wait for the results begins, especially for the candidates.

Indeed, the French media are formally banned from revealing the first tendencies before the polls close. This is obviously a precautionary measure taken by the authorities to avoid any influence of the electorate on the smooth running of the electoral process. “No partial or final result may be communicated to the public through the press or electronically in mainland France before the last polling station closes,” reads the official site www.vie-publique.fr.

Foreign websites heavily consulted on election days

In France, most polling stations close promptly at 7 p.m. Exceptions are being made in certain cities to delay office closures by an hour. The French media will therefore not publish any results before 8 p.m. And that’s even when they get the first estimates from the counts of the offices that were closed first.

But in the age of social networks, the French have the opportunity to find out very easily about the first trends known as “opting out of the polls”. The polling institutes conduct surveys by questioning voters at the exit of the polling stations. They deduce estimates that certain foreign media, not restricted in any way by French law, do not hesitate to publish.

In 2017, several Belgian media published the first official results well before 8 p.m. For example, the RTBF published this on Twitter at 5:23 p.m. on the day of the first round: “After several concordant polls, Macron is in the lead ahead of Le Pen, Fillon and Mélenchon in a handkerchief”.

These anticipated releases had sparked the “Radio London” phenomenon, when netizens used disguised messages to announce the results of the first round. In France at 8 p.m., the first results published by the French media, including Le Parisien, will not be the final results. These are estimates by opinion research institutes based on the first counts. However, these figures remain very reliable and will be refined over the course of the evening by the Home Office services, who are responsible for announcing the final results.

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