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, 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 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."


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