49.74% of New Caledonia's voters cast their vote yesterday for Nicolas Sarkozy in France's first round of presidential elections. The 52-year-old son of a Hungarian immigrant, Sarkozy appeals to those who want a stronger, more prosperous, more competitive France. Nicknamed "Sarko the American", Sarkozy vows to put France back to work (all but doing away with the 35-hour work week), lower taxes and guarantee every citizen the ability to own his/her own home.
Sarkozy will face Royal in the final presidential round on 6 May. A televised debate between the two is planned for 2 May.