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Low turnout doubts add to French election worries

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 01:50

France's borrowing costs have risen while Germany's hold near three-month lows in a sign of unease just days before a first round of voting in France's closely-watched presidential race. Sonia Legg reports.

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Perhaps not the best way to put across your message - but these defaced posters reflect what many investors are worried about in France. Marine Le Pen has been wooing her far right supporters with promises to leave the euro and halt immigration. She's currently second favourite in the polls, behind centrist Emmanuel Macron, and ahead of conservative Francois Fillon and far left Jean-Luc Melenchon. (SOUNDBITE) (French) HOME NURSE, HELENE ROC'H, SAYING: "At the moment, I think it's total chaos and it's rather discouraging to have to vote on Sunday because I still don't know who I will vote for, it's hopeless." That indecision - and concern about how many will stay at home and abstain - is a big worry. French government bond yields have felt the impact as has the euro itself. Latest polls also suggest the race is so tight between the top four - Le Pen and co all have a chance of making the two-person run off on May 7. (SOUNDBITE) (English): CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD FIRST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "She seems fairly confident that she'll get through the first round and is in the run off with someone else but it's making sure that the abstentions of right leaner voters go to her as opposed to staying at home on May 7." Polls have consistently suggested Macron and Le Pen will both secure 22 -24 percent of the vote on Sunday to win through to round two. But in some polls Fillon and Melenchon are close behind - touching 20 percent. It means some are voting tactically. (SOUNDBITE) (French) BUSINESSMAN WHO WILL VOTE AGAINST ANTI-EU CANDIDATES, NICOLAS DEMELIAC, SAYING: "It will be a political calculation, because there are people and policies I have no desire to see, I will vote according to that, and not according to the candidates or their performances." There is one thing most pollsters agree on - a lower turnout will favour Le Pen. And if she wins there is one certainty - financial markets won't like it.

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Low turnout doubts add to French election worries

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 01:50