French presidential election

Socialist Francois Hollande and conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy are heading for a run-off in the race for France's presidency, according to partial official results after a first round of voting.

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Nicolas Sarkozy: 'National Front voters must be respected'

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, gestures as he delivers a speech during a campaign meeting in Saint Cyr sur Loire Credit: AP Photo/Michel Euler

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has appealed directly to far right voters with pledges to get tough on immigration and security, after the National Front's record showing in a first round election made them potential kingmakers.

Mr Sarkozy told reporters outside his campaign headquarters: " National Front voters must be respected. They voiced their view. It was a vote of suffering, a crisis vote. Why insult them?"

Francois Hollande slams Nicolas Sarkozy at a campaign rally

French presidential election candidate Francois Hollande
French presidential election candidate Francois Hollande waves to supporters during a campaign rally Credit: AP Photo/David Vincent)

The frontrunner in the French presidential elections Francois Hollande has slammed President Nicolas Sarkozy at a campaign rally in Quimper, western France.

Mr Hollande told supporters: "The outgoing candidate, he always succeeds in convincing himself, through others. It reassures him. He does it by himself. And yesterday, he tried to make out what was a failure, to be a success.

"He was happy. He is like that. He also thinks his term was a success. More than 73 percent of the French think the opposite. But he continues to think that he must go on."


Le Pen 'has enormous leverage' in French election run-off

by - Europe Editor

Judged by press attention, there was only one winner in France last night. Marine Le Pen was mobbed by television crews at an impromptu press conference today.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen Credit: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Le Pen has enormous leverage now. She is playing very hard to get over how she will advise supporters to vote in the second round.

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