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Disgruntled French voters urged to stay away from polling stations until 5pm

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Disgruntled French voters urged to stay away from polling stations until 5pm
Photo: AFP
09:32 CEST+02:00
A petition urging the French to vote late on Sunday has gathered tens of thousands of signatures. Emmanuel Macron could be in for a shock.
It is possible to block Marine Le Pen without supporting Emmanuel Macron, at least that's according to a petition that's quickly gaining traction in France. 
 
The petition, set up by a group called "Entends Mavoix" ("Hear my voice"), has attracted over 50,000 supporters in its call for citizens to vote after 5pm in the second round of the presidential election on Sunday. 
 
The reason?
 
France's Ministry of the Interior publishes participation reports at midday and at 5pm, meaning the fed up voters who vote late will be noticeably absent from the figure when published at 5pm - a move that they hope will let Macron know that all those who voted after were not voting for him but rather against Le Pen.
 
"This text is neither a call to vote for Macron, nor to abstain. It's an offer for those who decided to vote against the National Front to be heard, and for their voice to be counted and made public," the petition reads.
 
Macron will have to count his votes "with humility and without triumphalism", they added. 
 
Organizers told The Local: "The petition was just a way to gain visibility for our idea and to share it."
 
"A wake up call on the democratic limits of our voting system would be quite an achievement, given that blank ballots are not counted in final results," they said. 
 
A record level of abstention, prompted either by voters opposed to both candidates or by complacent voters who believe Macron is certain winner, is considered the only chance Marine Le Pen has of winning the election.
 
A poll of some 250,000 supporters of defeated far left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon revealed two thirds of them will either abstain or cast a blank ballot in the second round.
 
 
France's defiant abstainers: 'I won't be an accomplice to this disaster'
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