Montrealers line up to cast votes in French presidential election

French citizens are lining up in Montreal to cast their votes in what is expected to be a very tight presidential election.

By mid-morning, about 100 citizens were standing in line at a voting station in Montreal's Outremont borough, with many saying they waited over an hour to vote.

The French Embassy in Canada says more than 57,000 French nationals are registered to vote in the Montreal area.

The high numbers could be because the election outcome is far from certain, with four candidates having a shot at reaching a second round.

Many in the lineup in Montreal said their main motivation in voting was to block candidates they see as “extreme,” such as far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Several said they were voting for centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, saying he was the best candidate to bring France together.

One voter, Florian Castarede, said it was “unthinkable” to have either Le Pen or left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon as French president.

“It's simple, if Marine Le Pen is elected, I'm asking for my (Canadian) permanent residency,” he said.