Sarkozy loses first round of French presidential elections
Nicolas Sarkozy, current President of France, trailed Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, in the first round of elections as the former mustered up 27% of the votes compared to the latter’s 28%.
The defeat will be seen as a major disappointment and a loss of momentum for the incumbent candidate as it is the first time in 50 years history an outgoing president has failed to win a first-round vote.
However, Sarkozy still remains defiant on winning the second round of elections on 6th May, seeking support from the far right following Marine Le Pen’s (extreme right candidate) success at gaining 18% of the votes, the largest they have ever won.
Referring to her voters, Mr Sarkozy said: “I have heard you. There was this crisis vote that doubled from one election to another – an answer must be given to [it].”
Francois Hollande’s victory puts the socialist party en route to gaining presidency for the first time since Francois Mitterrand’s re-election in 1988.
Speaking after the victory to his cheering supporters in his rural fiefdom of Correze in south-west France he claimed to be the best candidate to lead France towards change as he believed the public were ready to “close one page and open another”. He also referred to Sarkozy’s loss as “rejection” and a “sanction” against his tenure in office.
Victory on 6th May for either candidate is now largely dependent on which way the right wing and left supporters vote. Marine Le Pen’s holds 18% of the votes while leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon holds a respectable 11% of the votes.
While Sarkozy had run a rightwing campaign isolating the left wing, Hollande had taken a cautious stance refusing to be drawn into battles. His proposal to introduce 75% tax on incomes over one million Euro was approved by a majority in polls.