France: -- Runoff round of presidential election -- About 46 million people are eligible to vote -- Polls open: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in rural areas and small towns; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in large cities. Some overseas departments will vote on May 5 -- First results: Exit polls estimates at 8 p.m. on May 6 -- What’s at stake: The poll pits President Nicolas Sarkozy against Socialist challenger Francois Hollande and will decide whether Sarkozy serves another five-year term or whether he becomes the first incumbent in 30 years to lose re-election. - Swearing in takes place in mid-May.
Greece: -- Parliamentary election. -- About 9.85 million people are eligible to vote -- Polls open: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- First exit polls: 7 p.m. -- Initial estimates of final result: about 9:30 p.m. -- Final estimates: 11 p.m. -- Click here for a briefing on how the electoral system works. -- What’s at stake: Voters will decide whether to give Greece’s two major parties, the Socialist Pasok party and the conservative New Democracy party, enough support to form a coalition in the 300-seat parliament. Faced with the prospect of more budget cuts to keep international funds flowing, many voters are backing small anti-bailout parties that promise an end to austerity measures. Greece’s failure to meet targets could mean a default and an exit from the euro.
Germany: -- Regional parliament election in Schleswig-Holstein -- About 2.24 million state residents are eligible to vote -- Polls open: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- Exit polls: 6 p.m. -- Final results: late on May 6 -- What’s at stake: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union risks losing control of the state should the opposition Social Democrats and the Green Party succeed in forming a coalition. Should such a coalition not materialize, the CDU and SPD could form a so-called grand coalition.
Italy: -- Local elections on May 6 and May 7 -- About 10 million people are eligible to vote -- Polls open: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on May 6; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 7 -- Exit polls: about 3 p.m. on May 7 -- Final results: late on May 7 -- What’s at stake: Democratic Party expected to emerge as the winner of the elections for town councils across Italy, followed by Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty Party. The Northern League is projected to lose votes after an investigation into the misuse of party funds led to the resignation of its leader, Umberto Bossi. The 5 Star Movement of ex-comic actor Beppe Grillo may siphon off league support and could win as much as 8 percent of the vote, polls indicate.
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