Hollande wins French election

Reuters , Sunday 6 May 2012

French voters choose Francois Hollande as their next president after socialist contender wins 51.9 percent of vote

Sarkozy elections posters
Torn election posters of French President and UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy are seen in Paris Sunday, 6 May 2012. France voted in a presidential run-off election Sunday which saw Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalizing on public anger over spending cuts and a Europe-wide push for austerity. (Photo: AP)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy conceded defeat to Socialist Francois Hollande in Sunday's presidential election runoff within half an hour of the last polling stations closing.

"I have just spoken to him on the telephone to wish him good luck," Sarkozy said, as polling institutes projected Hollande would win the election with between 51.8 to 52 percent of the vote, based on initial counts of ballots cast.
Sarkozy told his supporters that he took responsibility for his defeat, saying: "It's the number one who takes responsibility."

Polling institutes predicted Hollande would win between 51.8 and 52 percent of the vote versus Sarkozy's tally of between 48.0 and 48.2 percent.

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.

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