French presidential election: Hollande on top but Le Pen delivers record result

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Socialist party presidential candidate Françcois Hollande speaks to supporters after winning the first round of the French presidential elections. Photograph: Caroline Blumberg/EPA François Hollande has moved a step closer to becoming the first Socialist president of France in a generation by beating the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the first round of elections for the Elysée. But the surprisingly high vote for the extreme-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, boosted the overall figures for the right and meant that the final runoff vote on 6 May remains on a knife-edge. Partial results from the beginning of the count showed Hollande – a former Socialist party leader, rural MP and self-styled Mr…

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