Sunday, May 6, 2012
Socialist candidate has won runoff according to projections by pollsters.
"Polling stations closed across France Sunday for the final round of a presidential election that estimations said gave victory to Socialist challenger Francois Hollande over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hollande was elected France's first Socialist president in nearly two decades, dealing a humiliating defeat to Sarkozy and shaking up European politics, according to several estimates based on ballot samples.
Polling institutes predicted Hollande would win between 51.8 and 52.0 per cent of the vote versus Sarkozy's tally of between 48.0 and 48.2 per cent.
Hollande, who had led conservative incumbent Sarkozy in polls for months, would become France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.
The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and for France, the eurozone's second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council."