Voting in round two of France’s presidential election has already begun with polling stations opening in far-flung territories such as St-Pierre and Miquelon off the north-west coast of Canada.
No electioneering or polls are allowed on the eve of voting in mainland France but only a few percentage points separated the two candidates on Friday.
Together with the Greek election, this ballot could determine the direction Europe takes over the ongoing financial crisis.
Socialist Francois Hollande, who won the most votes in round one on April 22, has pledged to renegotiate the European rescue plan. He says austerity drives must be tempered with measures to boost growth – a stance that puts him at odds with Germany.
After the National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, notched up 18 per cent in the first round, conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy shifted his campiagn rhetoric to the right. That move has cost him centrist support while Le Pen announced she would cast a blank vote on Sunday.