9.19pm: David Cameron’s reaction – "I warmly congratulate Nicholas Sarkozy on his election as President of France. He has campaigned with energy on a platform of change from the economy to the environment on which he promised again tonight that France under his presidency would play a leading role. Now France has voted for change I wish Nicholas Sarkozy every success as he takes up his responsibilities as President." {Related link: No snub from Sarkozy over EPP withdrawal}

9.13pm: Latest projection gives Sarkozy 52.7%.  Allister Heath thinks that Sarkozy is France’s "only hope".

7.45pm: Sarkozy pays tribute to European project in speech (no change there) but also promises to stand with USA (a real break from Chirac) although not uncritically.  Emphasises need to combat global warming.


7.30pm: "I’ve said before that I am not a fan of Sarkozy. He looks to me to be slightly unbalanced and a bit of a bastard. I suppose I should console myself by the fact that as a man of the Right he is at least OUR bastard." – Iain Dale

7.21pm: Both of these men have had a good week (Sarkozy has his own A-list, too, with a promise to fill half of his Cabinet with women).

Extraordinary TV scenes of Sarkozy’s car driving through Paris being followed by photographers on motorbikes trying to get photos of France’s next President.  You can’t imagine the US Secret Service allowing such a thing!

7.07pm: After the scaremongering warnings of riots if Sarkozy was elected a very gracious concession speech from Segolene. This elegant woman has perfected the no make-up make-up look!

7pm: Exit polls predict 53% to 47% victory for Nicolas Sarkozy.  The third consecutive defeat for France’s socialists.

6.59pm: 85% turnout! Wow.

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