Socialist Party candidate, François Hollande, has won the French presidential election. He is the first socialist to win in France since François Mitterand in 1988. Hollande eventually took 51.67% of the vote to Nicolas Sarkozy’s 48.33%, a much closer result than had been predicted even two weeks ago. Turnout was 81%.
Opinion polling suggests that many of those who voted for Hollande had voted against the incumbent Sarkozy because they were fed up of the president who had become known as the bling president for his lavish ways.
Hollande celebrated his victory at first in the town of Tulles where he was first elected Mayor. Later in the evening he moved to Paris where he was greeted by massive crowds.
The new president has determined to change the nature of the European Union’s approach to the current financial crisis, saying that he wants to see growth and not just austerity. He has already been invited to Berlin by Chancellor Angela Merkel and is likely to attend the G8 summit in the United States later this month.
Meanwhile he is likely to be sworn in to his new role on either the 14th or 15th May. There are elections for the French parliament in June and the next presidential election will be in 2017.