France presidential elections

 
 
 
  • An election worker counts ballots during the second round of the French presidential elections, in Paris. (Zacharie Scheurer, AP)
  • Supporters of Socialist President-elect Francois Hollande celebrate after the results of the second round of the French Presidential elections were announced at Bastille square in Paris, France. Hollande defeated outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday to become France's next president, Sarkozy conceded defeat minutes after the polls closed. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • Outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves after addressing supporters at his Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party headquarters after the the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential elections were announced in Paris. Almost every crisis-hit European country that has held an election since disaster struck in 2009 has thrown out its leader. (Jacques Brinon, AP)
  • Supporters of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande celebrate his victory in the second round of presidential elections at Bastille Square in France. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • France handed the presidency to leftist Hollande, a champion of government stimulus programs who says the state should protect the downtrodden - a victory that could deal a death blow to the drive for austerity that has been the hallmark of Europe in recent years. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • French president-elect Francois Hollande embraces his companion Valerie Trierweiler after greeting crowds gathered to celebrate his election victory. (Francois Mori, AP)
  • Hollande said European partners should be relieved and not frightened by his presidency. (Laurent Cipriani)
  • A crowd wait on Cathedral square to hear President-elect Francois Hollande's speech in Tulle. (Lionel Cironneau, AP)
  • A crowd gather on Cathedral square to hear President-elect Francois Hollande's speech in Tulle, central France. (Lionel Cironneau, AP)
  • President-elect Francois Hollande leaves Tulle, central France after addressing the crowd. (Lionel Cironneau, AP)
  • Concerns that Hollande was too mild-mannered and academic to take on Sarkozy disappeared as the race went on and he emerged as a tough campaigner, his speeches sprinkled with dry humour. (Lionel Cironneau, AP)
  • Hollande's performance during the campaign's only face-to-face debate - when he fended off an increasingly aggressive Sarkozy accusing him of "lies" and "slander" - was particularly lauded.(Michel Spingler, AP)
  • "I am proud to have been capable of giving people hope again," Hollande told huge crowds of supporters in his electoral fiefdom of Tulle in central France. "We will succeed!" (Bob Edme, AP)
  • Hollande inherits an economy that's a driver of the European Union but is deep in debt. He wants more government stimulus, and more government spending in general, despite concerns in the markets that France needs to urgently trim its huge debt. (Remy de la Mauviniere, AP)
  • Sarkozy conceded defeat minutes after the polls closed, saying he had called Hollande to wish him "good luck" as the country's new leader. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • With 75% of the vote counted, official results showed Hollande with 51.1% of the vote compared with Sarkozy's 48.9%, the Interior Ministry said. The CSA, TNS-Sofres and Ipsos polling agencies all predicted a Hollande win as well. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)
  • Supporters of outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) listen as the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential elections were announced at UMP headquarters in Paris. (Jacques Brinon, AP)
  • Sarkozy, widely disliked for budget cuts and his handling of the economy during recent crises, said he did his best to win a second term, despite widespread anger at his handling of the economy. (Michel Euler, AP)
  • A supporter of outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy's cries as the preliminary results of the second round of the presidential elections were announced. Sarkozy had said he would quit politics if he lost. (Michel Euler, AP)
  • People of all ages and different ethnicities celebrated Hollande's victory at the Bastille. (Francois Mori, AP)
  • Among his first trips, Hollande will be to the United States later this month for summits of Nato - where he will announce he is pulling French troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year - and the Group of Eight leading world economies.(Michel Spingler, AP)