In the first round of the presidential elections, with all the votes counted, Francois Hollande has secured 28.63 per cent of the total votes casted. The incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy is trailing behind his Socialist contender with 27.08 per cent of the vote.
First time a sitting president has lost in the first round. French President Nicolas Sarkozy confronts an overwhelming struggle in the second round of the presidential election, after coming second in Sunday's first vote. The two men will face each other in a second round of voting on 6 May. If Mr Sarkozy failed to change the minds of a considerable number of people, he will become the first sitting president to lose an election since 1981.
Marine le Pen the Far-right candidate has secured third place with 18.01 per cent of the vote, as per statistics released by the Interior Ministry.
Jean-Luc Melenchon the Left-wing hopeful has acquired about 11.13 per cent of the ballots. The remaining six candidates delivered mild single-digit results.
After the first round results were declared, Hollande in his hometown of Tulle delivered a speech to his cheering supporters. He said he has become a contestant of all the French people who desires to turn “a new page” in the history of France. He also vowed to cut the country’s debt, improve economic development, and bring together the people of France after the “troublesome” rule of Nicholas Sarkozy.
In the meantime, Sarkozy's supporters engrossed the defeat, Jean-Francois Cope the leader of the right-wing UMP, saying that in the coming round, when Nicolas Sarkozy we will be head-to-head against Francois Hollande, “the match will be different.”
The numbers of voters in the ballot has exceeded 80 per cent, regardless of fears that up to one third of the voters might pay no heed to the vote. For contrast, the first round of the 2007 French presidential election witnessed a record high turnout of 83.8 per cent.
With all the ballots now counted, keeping the opening first round results in mind, one can suggests that Hollande would also win by a small margin in a decisive battle.
According to the polls, Hollande is expected to succeed in the second round. But head-to-head run-off set for May 06 may bring some surprises with so many votes secured by the candidates who lag- behind in the first round.
French people have cast their votes at the polling stations to decide the future of France for the next five years, with the candidates themselves casting their votes during the early hours of the election on Sunday. Francois Hollande remarked as he cast his vote, this election will “weigh on the future of Europe”
Political analysts suggest Mr Sarkozy, leader of the ruling centre-right UMP, will now need to persuade the far-right voters who supports Ms Le Pen, if he is to hold on to the presidency. However Mr Hollande remains the front runner.
Mr Sarkozy started reaching out to Ms Le Pen's voters on Monday, by saying , "There was this crisis vote that doubled from one election to another - an answer must be given to this crisis vote".
FACTS RELATED TO SECOND ROUND OF POLLS:
· The election has been dominated by economic issues, with voters worried with lethargic growth and mounting unemployment.
· Post-election Opinion polls taken on Sunday indicates that between 48 and 60% of Le Pen voters would tilt towards Sarkozy in the second round.
· There is also predict that a large abstention rate in the second round.
· There is one apparent favorite - Hollande. He has a support of votes on his left, and he has guaranteed to get them, more or less.
· On the hand, no one is dead sure that Le Pen voters will back Sarkozy in second round or not.
· Marine Le Pen has firm support, she has pulled off a major takeover - 6.3 million voters chose her.
· She has an obvious curiosity in Sarkozy losing. She wants his party to collapse and her party to then pick up some right-wingers from his party and become the main opposition to the Left.
· Leftist nominee Jean-Luc Melenchon, who was backed by the Communist Party, came fourth with almost 12 per cent has urged his supporters categorically to rally behind Mr Hollande in the run-off.