18 Oct 2011

Hollande selected as election candidate

8:19 am on 18 October 2011

Former French Socialist party chief Francoise Hollande has won the nomination to be the Socialist candidate in next April's presidential election.

Mr Hollande defeated current Socialist leader Martine Aubry in a run-off vote on Sunday.

In his acceptance speech, he said he was ready to challenge incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy and usher in a new chapter in French politics.

Opinion polls suggest he could beat Mr Sarkozy, who has not formally declared his own bid.

Mr Hollande had a lead of 56% to 44% over his rival in the count.

The BBC reports it was the first time voters have taken part in a US-style primary race. Some 2.7 million voters took part.

The election takes place in two rounds on 22 April and 6 May.