(menafn – ecpulse)
With the end of the first round of the French elections, Hollande seems to be in a stronger position than his conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy who collected around 27.0% of the total votes in the first round, slightly behind the socialist candidate Francois Hollande, who gained 28.2% of the first round votes.
More than four fifths of the votes were counted, according to the Interior Ministry. Therefore, both candidates are to meet in a head-to-head confrontation on May 5 in a decider that might be more difficult than already projected.
Unexpectedly, Le Pen recorded 18.6% of the total votes, coming in the third place after Sarkozy, beating Jean-Luc Melenchon who scored 10.9% and Francois Bayrou who collected 9.2%.
After the results Hollande told a crowd of supporters that "My final duty and I know I'm being watched from beyond our borders, is to put Europe back on the path of growth and employment.
European markets are seen lower after the first round of the French Vote, where investors doubt now that Hollande might refuse any European treaty that doesn’t include any growth measures, while he also has a different point of view regarding the tax rate and EU treaties.
The focus however will be now of the far-right voters, where they will decide who is the next President of France since Marine Le Pen recorded the third place with 18.6%.