Partial results: Hollande leads French Socialist primary

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The frontrunner in the French left's primary to choose a presidential candidate, Francois Hollande, enjoyed a comfortable lead Sunday after around a quarter of votes cast were counted.

Hollande had 56.48 percent of votes against Martine Aubry's 43.52 in the run-off, with 486,437 votes counted. Socialist Party leaders had predicted a turnout of around 2.8 million left-leaning voters.

Barring a bizarre late upset, the vote put the 57-year-old lawmaker and former party leader on course to be confirmed as the Socialist Party candidate for next year's two-round presidential race in April and May.

It also puts him in pole position to oust President Nicolas Sarkozy, as opinion polls consistently predict that the Socialist Party is on course to defeat the centre-right incumbent next year.

© 2011 AFP

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