Francois Hollande's campaign manager said the candidate "wants to offer a dream" to the French people but was aware of the financial constraints that could face them.
He wants to offer a dream, but he doesn't want to sell illusions to the French people.
– Pierre Moscovici told BFM TV
Undeniably a first step toward change was taken yesterday.
A spokesman for the German Government has said that Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to support Nicolas Sarkozy in French elections - but that she has no plans to campaign for him in France.
Nicolas Sarkozy, who is the first sitting president to come second in the first round of a re-election bid, could go the way of 10 other eurozone leaders who have been ousted from office since the crisis started in late 2009.
National Front Vice-President Louis Alliot said Marine Le Pen - who led her party to 18% of the vote in the French election - is "unlikely" to endorse either Nicolas Sarkozy or Francois Hollande in the run-off.
He said: "Based on the ideas in our programme, neither one defends or develops them, so it seems unlikely".
- Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande - 28.6%
- Union for a Popular Movement leader Nicolas Sarkozy - 27.1%
- National Front President Marine Le Pen - 18%
- Left Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon - 11.1%
- President of the Democratic Movement Party Francois Bayrou - 9.1%
The Interior Ministry said 99% of votes have been counted.
- Le Parisien say Francois Hollande should be "confident but cautious". They say the result leaves him in a strong position but with the National Front vote so high he should not "rejoice too soon".
- Le Figaro say Marine Le Pen's "spectacular success" in the French election has taken her party - the National Front - to "a new level". They say her votes will be crucial in the run-off between Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.
- Le Monde say Socialist candidate Francois Hollande achieved his goal of finishing top in the first round of the election and should be considered the favourite to become France's president.