Forecasts by four French pollsters Sunday indicated Conservative Party candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won the country’s presidential election, trumping his Socialist opponent by a wide margin.

Sarkozy beat out Segolene Royal, who would have become the first woman head of state in France. 

The 52-year-old former interior minister is said to have won approximately 55-53 percent of the vote. Turnout for the presidential election was expected to be 85 percent.

Sarkozy will succeed Jacques Chirac, who served as president for 12 years.

Belgian and Swiss media first indicated the Sarksozy victory after polls closed at 8 p.m., based on exit polling taken on election day.

The announcement caused supporters gathered in Paris to roar, according to a report by Reuters.

The son of a Hungarian immigrant, the conservative Sarkozy painted his candidacy as one of the working class, promising a shorter work week, tax breaks and to cut wasteful government spending. He will take office next week.

Brandon De Hoyos is a journalist in Houston, Texas. He can be reached at brandon.dehoyos@yahoo.comSources:

Yahoo! News

Reuters

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