In an almost universally expected result, Socialist candidate François Hollande has unseated French president Nicolas Sarkozy, winning the French presidential runoffSunday, France 24 reports. Hollande won 51.9 percent to Sarkozy’s 48.1 percent.
Reuters has also confirmed Mr. Hollande’s victory.
Mr. Sarkozy trailed Mr. Hollande in the days leading up to the runoff, according to the New York Times, and his popularity waned in the face of high unemployment, austerity and a possible recession throughout Europe.
The two candidates advanced to a runoff election after first-round elections held on April 22; according to France 24, Hollande won 28.63 percent of votes, while Sarkozy won 27.18 percent of votes. The surprise result of the first-round came for third-place Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front, who won a surprising 17.90 percent of votes, the highest the right-wing party had ever secured in a presidential race.