Socialist candidate Francois Hollande has won the French presidential election, according to a report by Agence France Presse. AFP said that, based on exit polls, Hollande gained between 52 and 53.3 percent of the vote, putting an end to the political career of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Hollande will be the first Socialist president of France since Francois Mitterrand's last term ended in 1995.
Crowds of Socialist supporters have descended upon Hollande's hometown of Tulle in central France and also in front of party headquarters in Paris to celebrate the victory, at least an hour before French media was permitted to declare the official results.
Every major French polling organization - including CSA, TNS Sofres and Ipsos - gave Hollande between 52 and 53 percent of the final tally.
The Wall Street Journal has also declared victory for Hollande, saying that the Socialist defeated “incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after a hard-fought campaign that pitted two radically different personalities against each other.”
Le Soir, a Belgian newspaper, already declared Hollande the winner.
Le Soir also reported that incumbent Sarkozy has canceled a planned rally at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, suggesting he is prepared to concede.
However, the Daily Telegraph newspaper of Britain is reporting that some Sarkozy supporters have not given up hope – some of whom are gathering outside the Maison de la Mutualité building, waving flags and singing the Marseillaise, France’s national anthem.
A Sarkozy voter named Anna told the paper: I'm proud of what he's done for the country… He's a dynamic president.