Polling projections and a partial vote count show Francois Hollande becoming the first Socialist president of France in nearly two decades.
With half the votes counted nationwide, Hollande was leading the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. Sarkozy, the center-left candidate, was considered the favored candidate among French Jews.
Polls showed Hollande finishing with about 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Sarkozy, , of the Union for a Popular Movement party, would be the first French president to lose re-election in 30 years.
Hollande would become France’s first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand, who served from 1981 to 1995.
Sarkozy would be the ninth European leader to be ousted since the start of the continent’s debt crisis, Bloomberg reported.