Margaret Thatcher

France's presidential election could help shape what's next for an often bitterly divided Europe

France's presidential election could help shape what's next for an often bitterly divided Europe

For 44 million French voters, it is not just about choosing the person to lead them out of an economic downturn that has left them morose and frustrated, but whether that person also will take them out of Europe and bring about the collapse of the postwar European dream.

France goes to the polls Sunday for the first round of a presidential election that has been shaken by terrorism and could change the country’s relationship with the world.

As polling stations opened at 8 a.m., there was a sense that anything could happen in the next few hours before polls close — even revolution.

No pollster or political specialist has been willing to bet his shirt on the outcome....

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