France heads to the polls on April 22 and May 6 for the country’s most important election in five years. Ten presidential hopefuls are currently jostling for position in the imminent race to the Elysée Presidential Palace.
Centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is seeking re-election, saying only he can preserve a “strong France”.
But he is facing a tough challenge from Socialist Francois Hollande, who has said it is “the left’s turn to govern”.
There are 10 candidates in all, and if none wins more than 50% of the votes there will be a run-off round on 6 May.
Polls in mainland France and Corsica will be open from 08:00 to 18:00 (06:00-16:00 GMT), with voting stations in big cities remaining open for another two hours.The first official results will be released after the last stations close at 20:00 (18:00 GMT).