France's Presidential Election: Everything You Need to Know

How many people can cast their ballot, what Martinique has to do with the vote and what this second-round business all about

A man shows his electoral card near a polling station in the small rural town of Le Pin, western France, on April 23, 2017.
JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP

When will results be known?

The polls opened Sunday morning and are set to close at 7 P.M. in many districts in France, and one hour later in Paris.

However, television networks are preparing to announce that they are unable to call the results in the 8 P.M. broadcast on Sunday night.

People cast their ballots at a polling station in Lyon, on April 23, 2017.
JEFF PACHOUD/AFP

Who are the leading candidates?

Of the 11 presidential candidates vying for a win, the leading four are National Front leader Marine Le Pen, right-wing Republican François Fillon, radical left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron.

What is this second-round business all about?

If no candidate gets an absolute majority, a second round pitching the two best-performing candidates one against the other will take place on May 7.

People pick up ballots before casting their ballots at a polling station in Solesmes, northwestern France, on April 23, 2017.
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP

How many people can vote on Sunday?

Some 47 million people can cast their ballot on Sunday's first round of the presidential election.

All 67,000 polling stations will be under especially heavy guard by hundreds of thousands of police, soldiers, municipal inspectors and private security guards. Over 50,000 gendarmes will be deployed at sensitive sites in Paris alone.

French presidential election candidate movement Emmanuel Macron casts his ballot at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on April 23, 2017.
ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP

Is voting restricted only to France?

Voting began in French overseas territories on Saturday, with people casting their ballots in varied locations such as the Caribbean island of Martinique, French Guiana and French Polynesia in the South Pacific.

Saturday also saw French residents in Canada and the U.S. vote.

Bonne chance!

Reuters contributed to this report.