http://www.commondreams.org, Common Dreams staff
Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in France's presidential elections. As exit polls looked strongly towards Socialist Francois Hollande throughout the day, supporters celebrated early outside the Socialist Party headquarters and in Paris' Bastille square.
Sarkozy has now called challenger Hollande to wish him "good luck" as the country's new leader shortly after the polls became certain.
The shift in leadership exhibits a swing to the left in recession hit France, as voters have continued to express anger over increasing unemployment and austerity measures. France's central position in Europe could now signal a pushback against German-led austerity in the eurozone, reports the Associated Press.