With 34 percent of votes counted,
Socialist challenger Francois Hollande scored 27.5 percent and incumbent
Nicolas Sarkozy scored 26.6 percent in the first round of French presidential
elections on Sunday, according to official results.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen scored a
surprisingly strong 19.9 percent.
The first-round result means Hollande and
Sarkozy will face off in a deciding runoff on May 6, where Le Pen's voters
could throw open opinion poll projections that give Hollande a 10-point lead.
the first round of the 2012 presidential election, French voters chose between 10 candidates for the country’s top post after a
raucous campaign season that saw the economy dominate the political
After a bitter campaign season that raged amid the backdrop of the
eurozone crisis, voters across France cast their ballot Sunday in
the first round of the 2012 French presidential election.
An estimated 44.5 million eligible French voters chose between 10
candidates, including incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, Socialist
Party candidate François Hollande and extreme right National Front party
chief, Marine Le Pen. Polls opened at 8am local time Sunday across
mainland France following a one day break from campaigning that began at
Voting began Saturday for French citizens living in the Americas as well
as in France’s far-flung overseas territories -- islands in the
Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans -- where 882,000 French citizens
enjoy full voting rights.