French Socialist candidate Francois Hollande was confirmed the winner of the first round of the country’s presidential election, with 28.63 per cent of the vote, against 27.18 for incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Ministry announced on Monday.
Far right National Front leader Marine Le Pen came third in Sunday’s vote, with 17.9 per cent, a record for the party in the first round of a presidential election.
In fourth place came radical Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Mnchon with 11.11 per cent, ahead of centrist MoDem candidate Francois Bayrou, who polled 9.13 per cent.
Four leftist candidates, including Greens candidate Eva Joly, and one centre-right candidate shared the remainder of the vote.
Voter turnout was 79.47 per cent, an average turnout for a presidential election.