News President François Hollande and First Lady Valérie Trierweiler

It is understood that she refused to put her name to the declaration

Hollande supporters at a rally in Paris at the weekend

Sarkozy cries 'infamy' over claim that he was bankrolled by Gaddafi

An unpleasant election campaign turned even nastier and more confusing yesterday. After days of making baseless accusations of his own, President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that he was the "victim" of a smear plot by the Socialist front-runner, François Hollande.

Conductor in hospital after fall

The world-famous conductor Kurt Masur is recovering in hospital in Paris after he fell off a podium during a concert.

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: We need growth – and fast

For all the turmoil of recent years, the impact of the financial crisis is only just being felt

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

Cameron denies snubbing Hollande as Whitehall looks to build bridges

David Cameron is yet to meet François Hollande, the front-runner to become French President, Downing Street has confirmed.

European fears spark world market sell-off

World markets suffered a sell-off today amid fears that France and Holland will undermine a European treaty to tackle the debt crisis.

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.

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