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Sarkozy concedes defeat to Hollande in French presidential election
PARIS (AP) ' Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in France's presidential elections, saying he called challenger Francois Hollande to wish him "good luck" as the country's new leader.
Sarkozy thanked his supporters Sunday and said he did his best to win a second term, despite widespread anger at his handling of the economy.
He said "I take responsibility ... for the defeat."
Polling agency projections predict that Socialist Hollande will win the elections. Partial official results also show Hollande in the lead.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
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.