Early evening French election turnout down slightly from 2012 - ministry

PARIS (Reuters) - Turnout figures for the first round of the French presidential election showed a 69.42 percentage participation rate by around 1700 local time (1500 GMT), the Interior Ministry said on Sunday, with the numbers down slightly from the last election.

The latest turnout figure compared to 70.59 percent at the same time during the last election in 2012, 73.87 percent in 2007 and 58.45 percent in 2002.

(Reporting by Pascale Antonie; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by John Irish)