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Polls open in tightly-fought French election

Polls open in tightly-fought French election

France

The polls have opened in one of France’s most unpredictable presidential elections in decades.

The vote comes amid an unprecedented context of security and terrorist threats in France.

Eleven candidates are vying for presidency in this first round of voting.

The top two will face a run-off vote in two weeks time.

A blackout on opinion polls and the candidates or their policies came into force at midnight on Friday.

The threat of terrorism was pushed to the top of the agenda in the final hours of the campaigning after a policeman was shot and killed on the Champs-Elysee.

Officials promised tight security during the voting, with more than 50,000 police and other security personnel on duty.

The country has already been under a state of emergency for many months, with soldiers patrolling key public places.

The polls opened at 8am and will remain open until 7pm and 8pm in major cities.

Some 47 million people are eligible to take part in the ballot.

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