Today's the big day : polling stations have opened around the country for the first round of the presidential elections, amid heightened security fears after the attack which killed a policeman on the Champs Elysees on Thursday.
As usual, voting takes place on a Sunday, when public buildings like schools and Mairies can be made available without disrupting normal activities. This is the first round of two, the results will normally be available, provisionally but generally reliably, for the main evening news just after the last polling stations close. So it's always a dramatic moment when the pictures of the two finalists are revealed, and this year possibly more than ever.
As the Guardian puts it, it really has been France's strangest ever presidential election, full of "twists and turns".
You can follow it here : The latest live news, videos and articles - France 24
or here (in French) Election présidentielle 2017: actualité, candidats, sondages, résultats - BFMTV
There are 11 candidates, but only four are thought to have a chance of getting through to the run offs on May 7.
(Benoit Hamon, the Socialist Party candidate, who as such would have been almost automatically expected to be in the second round in previous elections saw his vote gradually collapse and several important members of his own party abandon him as his campaign failed to take off.)
Marine Le Pen, head of the far right Front National and centrist, or mystery man, Emmanuel Macron, are the favorites but the result is too close to call, and the traditional ban on polls being published during the 48 hours before the vote mean that any last minute surges or falls may not be identified. That's particularly relevant after the attack on Thursday - rumour has it from Belgium that Jean Luc Melenchon, who seemed to have an unstoppable momentum may be dropping off while François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron may be moving up again. We'll know in a few hours.
The presidential elections will be followed by legislative elections on June 11 and then June 18, because the new president, whoever it is, is expected to use presidential powers to try for a new legislature more in tune with his/her aims.