Nicholas Sarkozy
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French candidates react to first election results

23 April 2012 Last updated at 12:51 BST

The French president Nicholas Sarkozy has lost the first round in the presidential election.

He won 27.1% of the vote, while his Socialist rival Francois Hollande took 28.6%, the first time a sitting president has lost in the first round.

The two men will face each other in a second round of voting on 6 May.

Third-place Marine Le Pen took the largest share of the vote her far-right National Front has ever won, with 18%.

Leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who was backed by the Communist Party, came fourth with almost 12%.

Each gave their reaction to the results on Sunday night.