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‘Problems for organic veg’ and other coded French election messages

A series of Tweets from ‘Radio Londres’ hinted at candidates’ chances ahead of the 20:00 first results in a satirical take on the real wartime message service

‘The reimbursement of organic vegetables is going to be complicated, I repeat, the reimbursement of organic vegetables is going to be complicated: one of today’s coded messages about the vote Pic: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

A Twitter account which uses the hashtag ‘Radio Londres’ published a series of humorous messages about today’s first round of the presidential election in a whimsical reference to the World War Two service which sent out coded messages to Resistance fighters in France.

Read more: Radio Londres: Follow the French election with satirical Twitter page

France bans any references to polls and trends until 20:00 when voting has closed but foreign media can publish updates on trends and French people often get an early look at how candidates are doing through Belgian radio, for example. 

Here are some examples of today’s Radio Londres tweets:

A weather report at 19:00 with the temperatures cited being a coded message to the estimated scores of the top three candidates. Candidates were identified by the three areas of France they are linked to: the northern city of Le Touquet for President Macron, the Nord department for Ms Le Pen and Marseille for Jean-Luc Mélenchon. 

Mr Macron qualified first with 28.1% and Ms Le Pen second with 23.3%, according to first results provided at 20:00 (these will change slightly over the course of Sunday night).

Read more: Macron and Le Pen qualify: French election live results and comments

The result is a rematch from the latest presidential election in 2017 but both Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen’s scores in the first round today are greater than in 2017.   

“The reimbursement of organic vegetables is going to be complicated, I repeat, the reimbursement of organic vegetables is going to be complicated,” tweeted the account around 18:30, suggesting Green candidate Yannick Jadot would not reach the second round.

“Only three students have reached ten, I repeat, only three students have reached ten,” said another tweet, associating candidates to school pupils and the way teachers often grade pupils on a scale of 0 to 20. 

Radio Londres also followed candidates as they voted including Jean Lassalle, often characterised by his rural authenticity and closeness to the farming community. 

“The shepherd has stopped by the dairy shop, I repeat, the shepherd has stopped by the dairy shop,” said another tweet, signalling that Mr Lassalle had voted. 

Read more: Why does ‘left-wing’ France vote for election candidates on the Right?

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