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Report No. 255

(iii) France

8.16. Under Article 11 of the Loi 77-808 du 19 Juillet 1977, the publication and broadcasting of opinion polls was banned for the seven days preceding each of the two rounds of voting in the country's national elections. Exit polls were banned until the close of voting. In a landmark decision in 2011, the French Court of Cassation held that the 1977 law violated Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.364 A new law was adopted in February 2002 which replaces the week-long prohibition with a 24-hour publication ban.

With the exception of internet sites, no person may publish or otherwise transmit the results of any opinion poll on the day before the vote. When opinion poll results are published, the law imposes an obligation on the media to provide details of the poll's methodology and exit polls remain prohibited.365

364. Amelie Blocman, 'Incompatible with Article 10 of the ECHR', IRIS Legal Observation of the European Audiovisual Observatory
<http://merlin.obs.coe.int/iris/2001/9/article36.en.html>

365. Global Campaign for Free Expression, 'Comparative Study of Laws and Regulations Restricting the Publication of Electoral Opinion Polls', January 2003,
<http://www.article19.org/data/files/pdfs/publications/opinion-polls-paper.pdf>



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