French voter turnout held near a 33-year high in the first round of the presidential election that is almost certain to turn into a battle between President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy headed South and his Socialist challenger Francois Hollande went East on the last day of campaigning before the first round of voting, courting supporters of other candidates whose backing they need in the runoff.
The doubling of poll ratings for Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Communist Party-backed candidate in the French election campaign, is giving his end of the political spectrum its strongest voice in more than three decades.
Socialist Francois Hollande’s lead over Nicolas Sarkozy for the first round of the French presidential election dropped to 1 percentage point, and the gap also narrowed in the second round, a poll showed.
Gunshots that killed the man responsible for the deaths of seven people, including three children at a Jewish school, had barely stopped ringing when candidates in France’s presidential election began flinging charges and countercharges on the case and its handling.