Hollande wins Socialist run-offs

François Hollande yesterday became the French Socialist Party candidate who will try to unseat President Nicolas Sarkozy next April and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years. With well over two-thirds of close to three million votes counted, Hollande’s victory in a presidential primary election runoff against Martine Aubry, a more old-school leftist, was resounding, with his score topping 56 per cent. The polls suggest French voters are ready to put the left back in the Elysee Palace and oust the unpopular Sarkozy, who is widely expected to seek a second five-year term.