Hollande is the Parti Socialiste (Socialist Party, PS) candidate. The two had advanced to a runoff election after first-round elections held on April 22. Sarkozy has already wished his competitor "good luck" as the country's new leader and conceded defeat just minutes after the polls closed. Sarkozy has been president since 2007.
Hollande is France's first leftist chief of state since François Mitterrand was president from 1981 to 1995. Hollande is expected to make transformative changes in the European treaty on budget cuts arranged with Germany's Angela Merkel (although she repeated her opposition to any re-negociation this morning), how long French troops stay in Afghanistan, modifying the retirement age to 60 instead of 62, and increasing government spending to trigger growth.
Crowds of supporters filled the Place de la Bastille to celebrate Hollande's victory. Hollande is due to be sworn in as France's president on May 14 or 15.
Using the data published today on the offical website for diplomatic affaires, we created a
helpful map to help readers understand the history of voters abroad.
Countries in pink mark places where Hollande received more than 50 percent of the vote;
blue marks countries in which he received less than 50 percent (or
where Nicolas Sarkozy, got more than 50%).
You can compare with the last result in 2007 and see the changes HERE.