François Hollande will take on Martine Aubry in a second round run-off next week for the French Socialist party’s 2012 presidential nomination.
Hollande came out in front in a first round of voting, with 39 per cent of the ballots. He said he was the candidate who would allow France to regain its self-confidence. “France will once again be able to trust in the future … with a candidate of change,” he said.
Martine Aubry, the woman dubbed the Angela Merkel of France’s Left, garnered 31 per cent of votes. But the major political coup was that more than two-and-a-half-million people cast a ballot.
“The first round is a promise but still leaves lots to do before France in 2012 can have a woman as president of our Republic . By bringing together all those who truly want to change our country, I believe I am well positioned and will eventually take on Mr Sarkozy,” said Aubry.
One of those voting was the man once set to be favourite to take the presidency from Nicolas Sarkozy. But Dominique Strauss-Kahn can only be a bystander in the election after his career imploded in a New York hotel.
A sexual assault scandal last May has left the former IMF boss in the political wilderness.