Hollande, Sarkozy to fight in presidential run-off
Updated: 2012-04-23 04:03
PARIS - French socialist candidate Francois Hollande and incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy will face each other in the May 6 run-off, exit polls showed after the first round of voting ended on Sunday.
TF1 television published an exit poll that show Hollande took 29.3 percent of the vote, compared with about 26 percent for Sarkozy. While France 2, the country's national TV station, estimated that Hollande led Sarkozy with 28.4 percent of vote compared with the latter's 25.5 percent. It also showed that National Front (FN) candidate Marine Le Pen took the third place with about 20 percent of the vote.
The 85,000 polling stations across the country closed at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) while in big cities at 8 p.m. local time. The first official results will be issued after all the voting booths close.
According to French constitution, if no candidate gains a majority of votes in the first round, the two highest-scoring candidates arrive at a run-off which is scheduled a fortnight later.