PARIS (Reuters) - Voter turnout in the first round of France's first ever conservative presidential primary election on Sunday (Nov 20) had easily topped a million by midday (11am GMT, 7pm Singapore time), the election's organiser said.
Thierry Solere, president of the committee organising the vote, said on LCI radio that 1.138 million votes had been cast according to a count of 67 per cent of the 10,228 polling stations across the country.
Opinion polls have shown the Les Republicains party contest to be a tight one, with a high turnout favouring Alain Juppe over two other top-ranked candidates Francois Fillon and Nicolas Sarkozy.
There are about 44.8 million voters in France, according to the INSEE statistics agency. In the Socialist primary of 2012, 2.6 million voters took part.