Hollande received 52 percent of the vote to the 48 percent garnered by the conservative Sarkozy, who conceded to his opponent an hour after projected results were in.
The outcome makes Hollande the first candidate from the country’s Socialist Party to become president in France since 1988. It also makes Sarkozy the first president to not get re-elected to a second term in France since Valery Giscard d’Estaing in 1981.
Sarkozy, who was rumored by local channel France 24 as leaving politics altogether after the result, told his audience that he would not spearhead his conservative party into June’s parliamentary elections.
“Stay together, we must win the battle of the legislatives,” he said while reading a draft of his concession speech to senior party officials. “I will not lead that campaign.”
The big winner here is ultra right-wing nutjob and unapologetic racist Marine La Pen of the National Front party. With Sarkozy's center-right party leaderless and in tatters, Le Pen plans to swoop in as the face of the opposition to Hollande, and her main goal is to drive France further to the right. Sound familiar? It worked for the Tea Party here in 2010, after all.
But the big difference between Le Pen's blithely casual racists and our own is she doesn't have the backing of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Le Pen's clowns will blow up the second they have to govern. Here in the US, the GOP was only saved from that particular fate by Citizens United and FOX News.
We'll see how this goes down.