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How the French exit polling system works

A special actual vote tally is used to predict the results before time

The voting estimates given in French elections are not similar to the regular exit polls used in most countries. Unlike other countries which undertake exit polls based on asking people who they voted for, the French system, which had been in use since 1968 uses the actual vote count to reach a prediction. Pollsters choose 200 voting stations from around the country, including rural and urban areas which are carefully chosen to be as representative as possible of the whole country. These polling stations selected are among those that close early at 7pm. An official registers a large number of sample ballots for each candidate. The data is then processed through a sophisticated software that makes the necessary adjustments for past results and other variables before producing a national estimate on the voting tally. In essence this is neither an official results nor an opinion poll. Most of the times it is very accurate.