Hollande beats Sarkozy in French vote, both in second round | Pakistan Today

Hollande beats Sarkozy in French vote, both in second round

Socialist challenger Francois Hollande stamped his authority on the French presidential race Sunday, beating Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of polling in which the far right also made major gains.
As expected, Hollande and the wounded right-wing incumbent will now face off in a May 6 run-off for the presidency, but the big surprise of the night was the record score for anti-immigrant, anti-EU flag-bearer Marine Le Pen.
Hollande won between 28 and 29 percent of the vote in the first round, to Sarkozy’s 25.5 to 27, according to estimates compiled from ballot samples by several polling agencies and obtained by AFP from multiple sources.
“Firstly, I am tonight in the lead among the candidates,” he declared before supporters in his rural political stronghold of Tulle. “I am today the best placed candidate to become the next French president. The second major lesson to draw from this election — and this is undeniable — is that the first round was a punishment and a rejection of the incumbent,” he said, to cheers.
Le Pen, won between 18 and 20 percent — her National Front party’s best ever showing — and a result which complicated forecasts for the second round, as she is unlikely to urge her supporters to back either frontrunner.
Sarkozy is the only incumbent to lose a first round-vote in modern French history and opponents of all stripes queued up to pronounce his political obituary in live broadcasts and speeches to supporters. Marine Le Pen’s father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, refused to say who he would vote for now that his daughter has been eliminated, but added: “I think Sarkozy is finished.”
His daughter went further, hitting out at both sides and boasting of having exploded the two-party duopoly of power, at a remarkably triumphant rally for a candidate who went out at the first hurdle. “The battle of France has just begun,” she told a wildly cheering crowd. “Nothing will be as it was before … the people of France have invited themselves to the table of the elite.”
Sarkozy’s camp put a brave face, insisting that with the votes of the Le Pen camp and that of centrist Francois Bayrou the right had not had a bad night and that Sarkozy would bounce back before May 6. “The message from the French, which we heard loud and clear, was that this was a vote in a time of crisis,” said Jean-Francois Cope, leader of Sarkozy’s UMP and a possible future presidential candidate.
“From tomorrow morning, we will no longer be in a case of nine candidates against Nicolas Sarkozy, but we will be one-on-one, Nicolas Sarkozy against Francois Hollande … then I think the match will be different.”
Far left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon was beaten into fourth place with around 11.7 percent, a disappointment for his supporters after a barnstorming campaign, and called on the left to unite to oust Sarkozy.
Turnout was high at at least 80 percent: down on the 84 percent turnout of 2007 but up significantly on the 72 percent of 2002 and belying fears that a low-key campaign would be capped by mass abstention.
The left has not won a presidential election in a quarter of a century, but with France mired in low growth and rising joblessness, opinion polls had long predicted the left would beat the right-wing incumbent.

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One Comment;

  1. Shahid Malik said:

    Sarkozy connived with the evil US Dollar Empire to remove Dominique from Presidential race. But it seems, Sarkozy may still lose. Unfortunately, US Dollar Empire will be the only party having gained its objective in hatching up a detestable conspiracy which was also a reflection of extremely bad taste.

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