4.00am. The sampled count result is in: Macron 65.1%, Le Pen 34.9%.
3.15am. Actually, what will be published at 4am will be the sampled early count of actual voting, which proved pinpoint accurate last time. Exit polls are coming out now, and have Macron at around 63%.
2.15am. I’m giving this a bump in case anyone’s about who wishes to discuss tonight’s results from France. Exit polls will be out at 4am.
We’re now two days away from the run-off election for the French presidency, and a bit under five weeks away from the general election in Britain. A ban on polling in the final days of French election kicks in around about now, and they suggest that centrist contender Emmanuel Macron’s 60-40 lead over far right candidate Marine Le Pen as of a week ago has widened a little as the big day approaches. The polls were eye-wateringly consistent and accurate ahead of the first round election, and have remained so on the former count at least.
Britain had a dry run with yesterday’s council elections, the results of which poured cold water on any notion that the polls might be as badly astray this time as they were in 2015. In other words, they delivered unprecedented victories for the Conservatives and unmitigated disaster for Labour, as well as reinforcing the impression of a mass exodus from Ukip to the Tories. The poll aggregate below, conducted without any clever-dickery in relation to weighting and bias adjustment, records the Conservatives at 44.8% (compared with 36.9% in 2015), Labour at 28.3% (30.4%), the Liberal Democrats at 10.5% (7.9%) and Ukip at 6.8% (12.6%).
The first chart goes back to the last election, the second to the beginning of March. Among the things the latter makes clearer is that a spike to the Conservatives after the election was announced has in fact levelled off, and that some vaguely encouraging results for Labour a week or so ago haven’t been maintained.