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Hollande, Sarkozy heading for runoff in France presidential vote

The Los Angeles Times, 23 April 2012
Publié le : 23 avril 2012
 Kim Willsher 
Socialist challenger Francois Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy will advance to a runoff presidential election after an initial round of balloting Sunday, but a far-right candidate shocked the political establishment by running a strong third.  

Early returns released after polls closed showed Hollande with about 28% of the vote to Sarkozy's 26%, a margin consistent with pre-election polls. Eight other candidates trailed. 

The biggest surprise was the strong showing of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who received about 20%. That would be the strongest electoral showing her party has ever made -- about double the percentage her father Jean-Marie Le Pen received in 2007.

Marine Le Pen knocked left-wing firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon into fourth place, becoming the kingmaker in the May 6 runoff between Hollande and Sarkozy. At least half of her voters are expected to support Sarkozy.

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Mise à jour le 23 avril 2012
Créé le 23 avril 2012
ISSN 2107-7029
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