Projections suggest Hollande wins French election

Socialist Party candidate for the presidential election Francois Hollande shows his ballot before voting for the second round in the presidential election in Tulle, central France, Sunday, May 6, 2012.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Socialist Party candidate for the presidential election Francois Hollande shows his ballot before voting for the second round in the presidential election in Tulle, central France, Sunday, May 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

PARIS (AP) — Partial results and polling agency projections suggest Socialist Francois Hollande has won France's presidential election against conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

A Hollande victory could change how Europe tackles its debt crisis — with more stimulus and less austerity.

With about half of the nationwide votes counted in Sunday's race, official results showed Hollande with 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent for Sarkozy.

The CSA, TNS-Sofres and Ipsos polling agencies made projections based on the vote count at select voting stations around the country. They predict that Hollande will win with 51.8 percent to 53 percent, compared with 47 percent to 48.2 percent for Sarkozy.

Hollande would be France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand, leader from 1981-1995.