Friday, April 20, 2007
According to French law, estimates of the final vote are not allowed to be published on the day before or the day of the election, meaning not until 8:00pm Sunday. The penalty for doing so is a fine up to 75,000 euros. Despite this, some bloggers originally voiced the intention to do disregard this, causing French media companies, including Le Monde, to warn their bloggers not to do so. However, this will give an edge to foreign media companies, notably from Belgium, who are promising to release their initial estimates before polls close in France.
Of course even if media companies were allowed to publish exit poll information, the closeness of the election could obscure the final tally. Just remember the night of 2000, when Gore was given Florida, then retracted, then Bush given Florida, then Bush declared president, and then Florida retracted again. Hopefully the lack of an electoral college will keep this election a bit more clear-cut.