How is the President of the French Republic elected?
The people of France elect their President every five years.
Who can vote?
The President is elected by direct universal suffrage:
Universal: all French citizens aged 18 and over can vote, whether residing in France or not
Direct: votes are directly attributed to the candidates
What are the main stages in the election?
7 weeks before the second round/21 March
The official list of candidates is published
To officially be a candidate, contenders must, among other things, be nominated by at least 500 elected representatives (e.g. mayors, deputies).
4 weeks before the second round/10 April
Official electoral campaign
There is an upper limit on spending which is monitored by a committee
Once the official campaign has begun, each candidate must have strictly the same amount of airtime on TV and radio.
2 weeks before the second round/23 April
1st round of the election*
The French people go to the polls: if no candidate wins over 50% of the vote, a second round is organized.
Second round/7 May
2nd round of the election*
Only the two candidates with the most votes qualify for the 2nd round.
The candidate with the absolute majority of votes cast is elected.
Blank or spoilt votes are not taken into account.
The President is elected following the announcement of the results by the Constitutional Council within 10 days.
The five-year term is renewable once.
*In the Americas, the 1st and 2nd rounds take place a day earlier