Arts and Entertainment French press said that Mr Hollande's affair with Julie Gayet started more than two years ago

Gayet has earned a César nomination for Best Supporting Actress

Face off: Can a victorious François Hollande, top, live up to Europe's expectations

Olaf Cramme: Hollande will go via Brussels to rescue France

A victory for the Left in today's French election would help those who want more regulation on the City of London

Mary Dejevsky: Don't second-guess French voters

It is fashionable to lament the death of politics, and the lacklustre campaigns waged in many of our cities for yesterday's local elections did little to contradict that. Anyone looking for signs of political life in recent weeks, however, had only to look across the Channel to rediscover politics, red in tooth and claw.

Margareta Pagano: If Hollande takes victory he will need to win Merkel over too

Midweek View: Hollande's first visit as president should be to Berlin to persuade Merkel that austerity alone is not enough

Sarkozy looks to appeal to the far right over immigration

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, seeking support from the far right as he fights an uphill battle for a second term, said today that his country has too many immigrants and is failing to integrate them.

France's socialist candidate Francois Hollande says he'd keep 'burqa ban'

France's socialist presidential candidate says that, if elected, he won't seek to overturn a law banning face-covering Muslim veils enacted by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives.

Archie Bland: Rise of the far right in France? It's the economy, stupid

Right-wing populism is, to be sure, a troubling presence in British politics. There's no question that the voices of the likes of the BNP and the EDL are as persistent and as seductive as they have ever been. But if they ever seem too much for you, you only need to look across the channel for an awful warning about how much worse it could be.

Nicolas Sarkozy weighs in on the issues with voters in Longjumeau, south of Paris, yesterday

Allies turn on Sarkozy as he makes his pitch to far right

President's party divided on his strategy to court NF voters, fearing he will lose centre-right support

Leading article: Mr Sarkozy must reject a tainted second term

He would always be the President who sold his soul to remain in power

Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to ‘respect’ the wishes of far-right voters

Sarkozy plays to the far right as he fights for his survival

President looks isolated as Hollande is endorsed by losing candidates and influential public figures

More than six million people voted for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party

John Lichfield: Le Pen's six million supporters hold the key to the Elysée

The more Nicolas Sarkozy talks the talk of the far right, the more he will alienate centrist voters

The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy is widely expected to be ousted after just one fractious term in office

Hollande wins first round of French presidential elections - says exit poll

Socialist Francois Hollande has won the first round of the French presidential poll, setting up a run-off with Nicolas Sarkozy who came second, according to an exit-poll.

A French citizen waits to cast her vote in the French consulate in Rio de Janeiro

Sarkozy braced for bruising first round in French election

After weeks of ill-tempered campaigning, the President's future looks far from certain as the country goes to the polls today

Former President Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy

Chirac to ditch former protégé Sarkozy and vote for Hollande

Predecessor's switch of allegiance is blow for president, but former First Lady remains loyal

President Sarkozy has gambled in the last month on a hard-right campaign

Divisions emerge as Sarkozy loses ground in polls

Reports of deep divisions within the President’s camp as he prepares to address supporters at a rally in the heart of Paris

Leading article: As France goes, so will go Europe

After months of skirmishing, the French presidential candidates are finally under starter's orders and the real contest can begin. That the campaign seems to have been going on forever, though, should not be allowed to obscure the significance that the outcome will have, not just for France, but for Europe and for Britain.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?