Good weather and a million newly registered voters may be helping turnout today, but according to Reuters there are several other novel incentives.
Incentives to vote included a puppet show near the northern city of Lille offering free tickets to those with a voters' card showing they had voted, and a cinema giving discounts to voters in the northern town of Saint-Omer...
Hotels have offered discounts to voters in a bid to counter the slump they usually see on election weekends, and food delivery firms such as caterers and pizza chains banked on a jump in business thanks to election night parties.
One catering firm, Premiere Etoile, offered a special dish for each main candidate -- a "sweet and feminine" poultry fricassee for Royal "with a touch of sourness", grilled lamb for Sarkozy "for carnivores who like intense flavours" and duck for centrist Francois Bayrou from his native southwestern France.
Several problems have been reported, such as polling stations being glued/nailed shut in Marseille and wariness with new electronic voting machines, but nothing too serious to influence the outcome. Unfortunately, democracy's choices do not seem to please everyone. Vinvent Brun, a 25 year-old from Strasbourg, was one of them.
"I decided when I got up this morning, based on my mood. I cast an empty ballot."