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Socialist Hollande ousts Sarkozy in French vote

Francois Hollande was elected France’s first Socialist president in 17 years on Sunday, dealing a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and shaking up European politics.

Hollande won the vote with about 52 per cent, according to several estimates from polling firms based on ballot samples, becoming France’s first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995.

The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and for France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council.