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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?"

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