The first round of the race for the presidency of France is finished. Nicolas Sarkozy finished with 30% of the vote with Ségolène Royal earning 26% of the vote. François Bayrou's campaign failed to generate enough support to top Royal. Le Pen recieved only 10% of the popular vote.
The second round of the election will be between a more conservative and pro-US Sarkozy and the Socialist Royal. Royal is counting on cross-over appeal with stances tough on crime and moderately pro-Israel to rob support from Sarkozy. Sarkozy on the other hand is in the lead for the second round and this is his race to lose. Unlike in 2002 when leftist were forced to vote center-right to prevent Le Pen from winning, this election will be fought to the end.
The geography of the election is along similar lines of previous elections. The east and north parts of France vote conservative while the southwest, the west, and Paris go Socialist.
Both candidates did much better than incumbent President Jacques Chirac did in his first round for reelection. He only received 19% of the vote.