French overseas territories and French residents in the United States and Canada began voting on Saturday in France’s presidential election, a day before the main first-round of a poll that could change the global political landscape.

Of nearly 47 million registered French voters, there are fewer than a million resident in far-flung places like French Polynesia in the South Pacific, and Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Martinique in the Caribbean. They vote early so as not to be influenced by the mainland results, due on Sunday evening at around 1800 GMT (2.00 p.m. ET).

The first round will send two of 11 candidates into a run-off vote in two weeks’ time to pick a new president for France, a core member of the European Union and the NATO alliance, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and the world’s fifth largest economy.

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