8 pm has just passed in France, and all the polls are now closed, which means official preliminary data is now allowed – the first results from IPSOS are in, and are as follows:
Francois Hollande: 28.4% (28.8% latest) – with victory virtually assured in the runoff round on May 6, it is now Hollande’s election to lose. Could he? Yes – read here how Sarkozy can still catch up per DB.
Nicholas Sarkozy: 25.5% (26.1% latest) – make the runoff round
Marine Le Pen: 20.0% (18.5% latest) – extreme right: much better than expected as nationalism is back with a bang.
Jean-Luc Melenchon: 11.7% – extreme left: best communist showing since 1981 yet weaker than expected.
Francois Bayrou: 8.5%
Eva Joly: 2.0%
the others are irrelevant.
Big win for Hollande but even more stunning victory for extreme right winger Le Pen, which only proves that nationalism is back in Europe with a vengeance.