Voting got off to a quiet start in Paris this morning as polling stations opened for President Pompidou's referendum on the future of the Common Market.
Voting got off to a quiet start in Paris this morning as polling stations opened for President Pompidou's referendum on the future of the Common Market. This film was shot shortly after polling began at 0700. Outside the capital, most polling stations did not open until 0800.
Only a few early risers were about when polling began, and it was too early to confirm predictions of widespread abstentions.
Most French political parties are broadly in favour of bringing Britain, Denmark, Norway and Ireland into an enlarged Common Market, and only the Communist Party has campaigned for a "non"-vote. But the powerful Socialist Party has appealed to its supporters to abstain, treating the referendum as a political manoeuvre on the part of President Pompidou.
Observers have predicted that besides the Socialists, many of the nation's 30 million registered voters may stay away from the polls through sheer indifference. They expect a sweeping majority of yes-votes, but point out that a low poll would do little to enhance President Pompidou's position.