Voting opens for second round

The second round of local elections are under way

Paris mayoral candidates among early voters, while a Calais boulanger has a special offer for all voters in his town

PARIS Mayoral candidates Anne Hidalgo and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet were among the early voters as France goes to the polls for the second round of local elections.

Polling stations opened across the country at 8am. Ms Hidalgo cast her vote in the 15th arrondissement of the capital at 8.10am. Ms Kosciusko-Morizet arrived to vote at her polling station in the 14th arrondissement at 8.30am

A total of 6,455 municipalities involved in the second round. Voting in each area will close at 6pm, 7pm or 8pm, depending on population.

Turnout in last Sunday's first round was low, with 38.72% of those eligible staying away from polling stations, a record for French municipal elections, and politicians are hoping that more people will vote this time around.

In Calais, where last week’s turnout was particularly low, one boulanger has offered a free baguette to everyone who casts a vote.

Last Sunday, the UMP and its allies won 47% of the overall vote, nine points more than the Socialists, in last Sunday's first round, while the far-right Front National picked up 5% of the overall vote - much higher than the 0.9% it recorded in the first round back in 2008.

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