French presidential hopefuls cast their ballots

French presidential hopefuls cast their ballots
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The two contenders to be France’s next leader have cast their votes in the country’s presidential election.

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande filled out his ballot paper in Tulle, central France.

Opinion polls have repeatedly put the 57-year-old ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy since the first round two weeks ago.

Sarkozy is seeking to avoid becoming the first sitting head of state to lose since 1981.

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The incumbent president, flanked by his supermodel wife Carla Bruni, voted in Paris’ upmarket 16th arrondissement.

With joblessness at a 12-year high and France’s national debt at a record level, the election has largely focused on the economy and the eurozone debt crisis.

The results are expected at 20:00 Central European Time.

French voters will be back to the ballot boxes next month to choose the new members of the National Assembly.

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