Voter Turnout Tops a Million by Midday in French Conservative Presidential Primary

A woman casts her ballot to vote as people queue in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election in Nice, France, November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS, Nov 20 – Voter turnout in the first round of France’s first ever conservative presidential primary election on Sunday had easily topped a million by midday (1100 GMT), the election’s organiser said.

Thierry Solere, president of the committee organising the vote, said on LCI radio that 1.138 million votes had been cast according to a count of 67 percent of the 10,228 polling stations across the country.

Opinion polls have shown the Les Republicains party contest to be a tight one, with a high turnout favouring Alain Juppe over two other top-ranked candidates Francois Fillon and Nicolas Sarkozy.

There are about 44.8 million voters in France, according to the INSEE statistics agency. In the Socialist primary of 2012, 2.6 million voters took part.

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