Welcome to our live coverage of the presidential election in France. Final votes are being cast in the second and deciding round. Follow us for updates on the results, analysis from BBC correspondents and comment from readers in France and abroad.
First results released on close of polls at 19:00 (20:00 French time) usually provide an accurate picture of the final outcome. Election officials base these results on a representative sample of votes cast by 17:00, when polling stations outside the big cities close.
This image shows scrutineers putting ballots on a table prior to the counting of votes at a polling station in the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.
If you prefer to watch your news or hear it, BBC World News and BBC News Channel are all broadcasting live from France as I write, with BBC World Service joining them shortly.
Just heard that Nicolas Sarkozy has read out a statement to his cabinet ministers.
Seeing footage of a huge, cheerful crowd outside Socialist headquarters in Paris.