France voted in a presidential run-off election Sunday expected to see Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by capitalizing on public anger over spending cuts and a Europe-wide push for austerity.
As expected Francois Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy will square off on May 6 in round two of the French presidential elections.
However, there was a huge surprise in spot number 3 as extreme right wing candidate Marine Le Pen pulled in 18% of the vote running on a dump-the-euro platform.
First Round Totals
Le Pen: 18%
Please consider Le Pen voters to arbitrate Hollande-Sarkozy duel
Paris (AFP) - France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy was on Saturday tipped to win the leadership of his right-wing UMP in party elections, a position seen as a potential springboard back into high office.
PARIS — Returning from the political wilderness, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a big step toward a possible re-election bid by winning the leadership of the country’s main conservative party.
Sarkozy had been widely expected to win the Union for a Popular Movement leadership in the vote by party members Saturday. The 59-year-old Gaullist collected 64.5% of the vote to defeat former government ministers Bruno Le Maire and Herve Mariton, a margin that some analysts said was below expectations.
With polls closed but not all votes counted, the Marine Le Pen's euroskeptic, anti-immigration National Front party is expected to be ahead in six of France's 13 regional elections. There will be a second round vote next Sunday in all of the regions because no party captured more than 50% of the vote in any region.Projections now show the National Front, which has never won a regional election, can win as many as four regions in the final vote.No Surprise Shock
Arrogance cost former French president Nicolas Sarkozy the election in 2012.Judging from statements he made today, he's just as arrogant, if not more so today. He even brags of a bigger Facebook audience than Francois Hollande and his UMP party opponents, ignoring the fact that 60% of the electorate does not want him to run again.Self-Appointed Savior Has "No Choice"