--French interior ministry said voter turnout at 1500 GMT in the second round of the presidential election stood at 71.96%,
--Turnout down from 75.11% at the same time in previous election in 2007
(Updates to add CSA estimate of turnout at 1800GMT in the last two paragraphs)
PARIS -(Dow Jones)- The French interior ministry Sunday said voter turnout at 1500 GMT in the second round of the presidential election stood at 71.96%, down from 75.11% at the same time in the previous election in 2007.
In the first round on April 22, voter turnout at the same time was slightly lower, at 70.59%.
Incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy is competing against socialist Francois Hollande and the preliminary outcome of the second and final round of the election are to be released at 1800 GMT.
CSA polling institute estimated the final turnout should be around 82% at 1800 GMT, it said in a statement.
In the previous 2007 election, in which Sarkozy defeated socialist candidate Segolene Royal, voter turnout was 83.97%.
-By Geraldine Amiel, Dow Jones Newswires, +33 1 40171767;
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 06, 2012 11:51 ET (15:51 GMT)
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