So after all the polling, posturing and public wooing, the results are in. Yesterday’s first round of voting in France’s presidential election showed two things. First, that pollsters were right in tipping Socialist François Hollande to lead the vote (28.6%) ahead of beleaguered incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy (27.1%).

However, the curved ball came from the far right, with Front National leader Martine le Pen coming in third place with 18.1%. It’s this tranche (almost 6 million) of votes that could now prove crucial in the second round of voting May 6.

It’s clear that Sarkozy must now chase the votes of this fifth of the French balloted public if he is to upset the odds and overcome Hollande’s strong claim to be France’s first Socialist President in 18 years. Some opinion polls late yesterday suggested that between 48 and 68 percent of Le Pen voters would back Sarkozy, while others predict a large abstention rate next round.

We will keep you posted on the build-up and once the next President has been installed in the Elysée, we will assess what their policies could mean for the French property market and for those seeking a move to France.

You can see the first round results by commune, and join in discussions on our forum.

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