Sarkozy loses first poll battle
French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces an uphill struggle in the second round of the presidential election, after coming second in Sunday’s first vote.
He won 27.1% of the vote, while his Socialist rival Francois Hollande took 28.6%, the first time a sitting president has lost in the first round.
The two men will face each other in a second round of voting on 6 May.
Third-place Marine Le Pen took the largest share of the vote her far-right National Front has ever won, with 18%.
The BBC’s Christian Fraser in Paris says Mr Hollande’s narrow victory in this round gives him crucial momentum ahead of the run-off in two weeks’ time.
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