French Socialist primaries to decide final two candidates tonight

Members of the French Socialist party are set to vote in the first round of the primaries today, ahead of a presidential election that could prove disastrous for the party. Incumbent president François Hollande has been extremely unpopular in the country recently, with his failure to kickstart the economy and recent terrorist attacks, and his unpopularity has extended to his Socialist party.

It is widely expected that not one of the Socialist candidates could make it to the run-off vote of the election in May, with conservative Fillon to face far-right leader Le Pen.

Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, along with former Education Minister Benoit Hamon and former Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg are the front-runners for the run-off vote. Valls, who last week was leading the polls, has been underperforming recently, taking much of the blame for the Hollande administration’s unpopularity.

Polls are set to close at 18:00 GMT, with the run-off vote scheduled for January 29th.

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