Presidential: the method of pollsters to estimate the results Sunday at 8 p.m.

Noblesse Dusabe

While the majority of European countries, notably the United Kingdom, rely on exit polls to declare election winners, in France, pollsters base their estimates on ballots actually counted. Explanations.

Sunday April 24, as is customary, the face of the winner of the presidential election – Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen – will appear live on television at 8 p.m. sharp.

However, in the big cities, the polling stations will have just closed their doors.

So how do the pollsters manage to give a winner at 8 p.m., when all the votes have not yet been counted? 

Unlike the operation of most other European countries, the results communicated at 8 p.m. are not exit polls.

French pollsters base their estimates on the first ballots that have indeed been counted. 

To do this, everything is played during the hour preceding the announcement of the result.

In mainland France, polling stations close at 7 p.m. in most municipalities and at 8 p.m. in major cities, particularly Paris and Marseille.

It is thanks to this one-hour delay – which was two hours in previous elections – that the pollsters can designate a winner. 

“They use interviews, we use ballots”

“The main difference with an exit poll is that instead of asking people outside the polling station how they voted, we look directly at their ballot papers,” says Mathieu Doiret of the polling institute Ipsos, partner of France 24 for the presidential election.

“This forces us to wait for the first polls to close at 7 p.m., while exit polls can be worked on throughout the day.” 

Ipsos, like other polling institutes, sends pollsters, around 500, to various polling stations, chosen so that they are representative of the country’s diversity.

According to Mathieu Doiret, the idea is not so much to find areas where voting habits reflect the rest of the country, but rather to have polling stations that can reveal trends.

This may consist, for example, of seeing whether, in the strongholds of a candidate, there are large numbers of people moving or not.

Once there, the investigators call the polling institute every hundred ballots counted to communicate the results.

A software takes care of centralizing all the data, and, by comparing them with the figures of the previous elections, develops projections. 

At the start of election night, the polling institutes can thus give initial estimates which will be updated over the hours, as the counting of the ballots progresses. 

“British pollsters, for example, also choose a representative sample of polling stations and compare the results with past elections in order to establish their projections”, compares Mathieu Doiret, whose institute also carries out surveys in the United Kingdom.

“The only difference is in the primary material: they use interviews, we use ballots.”  

For the specialist, relying on the actual count of the votes rather than on exit polls has certain advantages.

In the British case, voters are, for example, free not to want to tell the pollsters which ballot they put in the ballot box. 

A risk of error? 

So far, this system has proven itself.

In each election, the pollsters were able to give a result at 8 p.m., including the first round of the presidential election in 2002, despite the tiny difference which had allowed the far-right leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, to ahead of the socialist Lionel Jospin.

“We have not yet seen polling institutes unable to declare a winner, or the finalists of the second round, at 8 p.m.”, assures Mathieu Doiret.

“There was only one time there was some confusion, in 1974.”

That year, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing won with only 400,000 votes ahead of his opponent, the narrowest gap ever recorded.

“But with today’s expertise and technical capabilities, we wouldn’t even have had such difficulties,” says the specialist.

However, a surprise cannot be completely ruled out.

This is what some voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon hoped for in the first round on April 10.

At 8 p.m., the rebellious candidate was credited with 20%.

He finally finished, according to the official count of the Ministry of the Interior with 21.95% of the total votes cast. 

“Things get complicated when the candidates do much better in a ballot than in previous elections in a certain type of constituency,” explains Mathieu Doiret.

“In the case of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, his support in rural areas was largely unchanged from 2017, but he jumped in some urban areas, where polling stations closed later. So we couldn’t tell. until after 8 p.m. when these offices began reporting their results.”

The temptation to trust foreign media

If the media will wait for the closing of the polls to communicate the first estimates on Sunday, on social networks, anonymous but also Belgian or Swiss media will publish estimates through the hashtag #RadioLondres from the end of the afternoon, based on exit polls, precisely, or on old polls. 

While it may be tempting to refer to them, these results are often unreliable.

Proof of this is two weeks ago, during the first round of voting, when rumors spoke of a tie between Macron and Le Pen – it turned out later that the incumbent president had a four-point lead. 

And these results are also contrary to French law.

From Friday at 11:59 p.m. until Sunday at 8 p.m., France is in a period of “electoral silence”.

The French media are therefore prohibited from quoting candidates or publishing opinion polls so as not to influence voters.

These rules also apply to candidates and their teams, who do not have the right to campaign within 44 hours before the end of the poll. 

In a press release published on April 4, the National Commission for the Control of the Electoral Campaign for the Presidential Election, the CNCCEP and the Polling Commission thus recalled that the publication of results or polls or their dissemination, including on social networks, is liable to a fine of up to 75,000 euros. 

This article was translated from English by Cyrielle Cabot.


88 thoughts on “Presidential: the method of pollsters to estimate the results Sunday at 8 p.m.

  1. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap methods with others, please shoot me an email if interested.

  2. Hi my family member! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all significant infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

  3. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!

  4. My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  5. I would like to get across my love for your kindness supporting all those that actually need help on your area of interest. Your very own dedication to passing the solution up and down appears to be extremely good and has in every case empowered girls much like me to get to their desired goals. This interesting suggestions means so much to me and even further to my office workers. Best wishes; from each one of us.

  6. you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a excellent job on this topic!

  7. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  8. I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours these days, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It’s lovely value sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  9. Very good written post. It will be useful to everyone who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – i will definitely read more posts.

  10. This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

  11. of course like your website however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I will certainly come again again.

  12. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  13. آیا شرکت ایمن زاهدان خدمات حفاظتی با کیفیت و ارزان را ارائه می‌دهد؟ بله. ایمن زاهدان با تیم حرفه‌ای و تجربه‌ی خود در زمینه‌ی خدمات حفاظتی و امنیتی، از بهترین تجهیزات و قطعات با کیفیت برای ارائه خدمات استفاده می‌کند. این شرکت همواره سعی می‌کند با بهترین خدمات و قیمت مناسب به نیازهای مشتریان پاسخ دهد و رضایت کامل آن‌ها را فراهم کند. سایت رسمی ایمن زاهدان:

  14. ahanhefaz company is one of the top manufacturers and providers of building security and beauty products in Iran. Using the best primary parts and modern technology, this company produces a variety of products, including building guardrails, window guards, accordion doors, villa iron doors and wrought iron patio doors, double-glazed windows and installation services for security products such as electric shutters, parking jacks. offers burglar alarms and automatic glass doors to its customers. Also, due to the effort for the best services, this company offers facilities such as free consultation, cost estimation, installation, repair and after-sales service to its customers. Delivery and installation of goods on time and customer satisfaction are other features of ahanhefaz company. website link:

  15. ahanhefaz In Farsi, it is آهن حفاظ is a manufacturer of all kinds of apartment door guards, including standard accordion doors with excellent quality and reasonable prices, all kinds of sliding doors, rail doors, cheap accordion guards, classic accordion doors, simple iron doors, anti-theft guards for apartment doors. Apartment door protectors are designed and manufactured with the best type of iron material, including 3 fabric hinges for anti-damage and 8-mil lock and furnace color. Metal accordion door purchase website :

  16. Like any other electrical device, the electric shutter is made of professional components and parts based on modern science; The technology of this tool is such that it meets the needs of people in modern society with all the hustle and bustle and insecurity in it; One of the clear examples of this in the design and construction of shutters is compliance with the requirements and standards of buildings and houses that are built according to modern global architecture. Ordinary shutters were used for shops since ancient times. Today, with the advancement of science and technology, all kinds of shutters have entered the market that work with a motor and can be opened and closed easily using a remote control. ahanhefaz In Farsi, it is آهن حفاظ is a website :

  17. ahansaze company is in Persian language آهن سازه , It is proudly committed to providing installation and manufacturing services of all kinds of quality iron products. This company, with expertise in building wall protection fence, deer antler protection, accordion door, window protection, iron and laser model building entrance door, wrought iron villa door, staircase and balcony railing made of metal and CNC, provides a decent service to its customers. Offers. Also, the installation services of electric shutters, parking jacks, automatic glass doors, electric awnings and parking barriers are also considered as part of Ahansaze services. By offering sales services of pipe, scaffolding and mansman, concrete jack and formwork, and double-glazed windows, ahansaze company ensures that various construction needs are met with the best parts and materials and with high precision. Company website:

  18. Pingback: blote tieten
  19. This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  20. Hey there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this site.

  21. Great write-up, I?¦m regular visitor of one?¦s site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  22. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  23. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  24. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Great read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  25. I am not sure the place you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  26. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i’m happy to exhibit that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make sure to don’t put out of your mind this web site and provides it a glance regularly.

  27. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  28. Hey There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is a really neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  29. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  30. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your web site in web explorer, could check this?K IE nonetheless is the market leader and a good component of folks will pass over your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  31. I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours these days, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It?¦s lovely worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  32. Hi my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and include approximately all significant infos. I’d like to look more posts like this .

  33. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  34. I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again

  35. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in web explorer, could test this?K IE still is the market leader and a large element of other folks will miss your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  36. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  37. Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  38. I feel this is among the most important information for me. And i am satisfied reading your article. However want to remark on few normal things, The site style is ideal, the articles is truly excellent : D. Just right activity, cheers

  39. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, might test thisK IE nonetheless is the market chief and a huge section of people will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  40. What Is FitSpresso? The effective weight management formula FitSpresso is designed to inherently support weight loss. It is made using a synergistic blend of ingredients chosen especially for their metabolism-boosting and fat-burning features.

  41. What is Lottery Defeater Software? Lottery Defeater Software is a plug-and-play Lottery Winning Software that is fully automated. Kenneth created the Lottery Defeater software. Every time someone plays the lottery, it increases their odds of winning by around 98.

  42. Hey very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful info here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  43. Good ?V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, website theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

  44. What¦s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & assist different customers like its helped me. Good job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *