BRUSSELS, April 23 (Reuters) - Belgian and Swiss media carried reports on Sunday saying that unidentified pollsters believed Emmanuel Macron would reach the French presidential runoff but that it was unclear who his opponent would be.
France’s official polling watchdog told Reuters last week that the country’s nine main pollsters had committed to refrain from carrying out exit polls and said anything purporting to reflect results before the last polling stations close at 8 PM in France (1800 GMT) could only be a rumour at best.
Pollsters also said they would not do exit polls from Sunday’s first round of voting.
All the Belgian media stressed that the findings, whose sources they did not disclose, were provisional and subject to change.
An hour before polls close, at which time French polling agencies will be allowed under national law to release forecasts of the first-round result, Belgium’s French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF forecast independent centrist Macron would secure first place, ahead of far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
The country’s two other leading French-language newspapers, Le Soir and La Libre Belgique, carried similar reports online, as did the Swiss newspaper Le Temps in Geneva. However, all four media said Le Pen’s lead over conservative Francois Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon was too close to call.
The top two candidates will run off for the French presidency on May 7. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Andrew Callus)