22 Apr 2013

Early results from French Polynesia show strong support for Tahoeraa Huiraatira

7:07 pm on 22 April 2013

Polls have closed in French Polynesia after the first round of voting for a new 57-member territorial assembly.

Initial preliminary results from the Gambier islands show Gaston Flosse's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira in front, which reflects the traditional voting pattern for the party's support in the area.

In the Marquesas, the Tahoeraa has also taken a large lead.

Estimates from the capital, Papeete, suggest the Tahoeraa is leading followed by the ruling Union For Democracy of Oscar Temaru.

The A Tia Porinetia of Teva Rohfritsch is in third place.

In Faa'a, which is Mr Temaru's stronghold, the Union For Democracy is in the lead.

Nine lists are contesting the poll, which is being held under a new electoral system that requires a list to have 12.5 percent of the vote to make it to the run-off round in two weeks.