Nicolas SarkozyThe French today took to the polling stations, amidst fears of low voter turnout. But these fears were unfounded as voter turnout at closing had almost surpassed 80%. The elections are expected to see the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s reign in office after only one term.

Rising levels of unemployment, low growth levels, and a stagnating economy are seen as the main points, that main challenger, Francois Hollande will use to his advantage. Opinion polls before the election predicted that the socialist, Francois will beat the right wing incumbent, Sarkozy, and so today’s polls are meant to pave way for a run off between the two, on May 6.

Campaigns, and opinion polls were stopped on Friday, at midnight, but will however, resume on Monday, as the build up for the run off between the two leading candidates begins. The two week campaign period before the run off is viewed as the only time that Sarkozy may have time to change his fate.

However, other presidential candidates in the polls today are hoping for a high score so that they can prove support for their ideas, and try to influence the agenda of this European nation’s next president, and government.