8 pm has just passed in France, and all the polls are now closed, which means official preliminary data is now allowed – the first results from IPSOS are in, and are as follows:
- Francois Hollande: 28.4%
- Nicholas Sarkozy: 25.5%
- Marine Le Pen: 20.0% – extreme right: much better than expected as nationalism is back.
- Jean-Luc Melenchon: 11.7% – extreme left: best communist showing since 1981 yet weaker than expected.
- Francois Bayrou: 8.5%
- Eva Joly: 2.0%
- the others are irrelevant.
Big win for Hollande but even more stunning victory for extreme right winger Le Pen, which only proves that nationalism is back in Europe with a vengeance.