François Hollande has been elected the president of France — the first such victory for a Parti socialiste candidate — or any center-left candidate in France — since François Mitterand’s reelection in 1988.
Exit polls show that Hollande has defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with a vote of 52% to Sarkozy’s 48%. If true, it would indicate that the race was quite tighter than nearly all prior polls had shown in the preceding months, which had shown a steady second-round lead of between five and 10 points for Hollande. Indeed, it would be a tighter margin than Sarkozy’s own five-point victory over Parti socialiste candidate Ségolène Royal in 2007.
Of course, with parliamentary elections due in June, and with the future of the eurozone still in some doubt, Hollande’s victory was never the key question — those will be just be starting to be asked and the answers will only begin to clarify over the months ahead.
Follow Suffragio’s prior coverage of the French presidential election here.