French President Francois Hollande stuns the country by announcing he will NOT...

French President Francois Hollande stuns the country by announcing he will NOT stand for re-election next year

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French President Francois Hollande will not seek re-election, he has announced today.

The shock move came after a poll released yesterday suggested he would win just seven per cent of the vote, with experts predicting a Socialist candidate would not get through the first round in next year’s election.

Hollande had been expected to seek a second term in the presidential office, but announced this evening that he intends to stand down.

Francois Hollande will not stand for a second term, he announced today, admitting he was unsure if he could rally enough support

Francois Hollande will not stand for a second term, he announced today, admitting he was unsure if he could rally enough support

Francois Hollande announced today that he would not be seeking re-election, stating: 'In the months to come, my only duty will be to continue to lead my country'

Francois Hollande announced today that he would not be seeking re-election, stating: ‘In the months to come, my only duty will be to continue to lead my country’

In an emotional televised address from the Elysee Palace in Paris, Hollande, 62, said: ‘I have decided that I will not be a candidate.

‘In the months to come, my only duty will be to continue to lead my country.’

A new poll yesterday predicted he would win just seven percent of votes in the first round of next year’s election in April.

 A new poll on Wednesday predicted Hollande would win just seven percent of votes in the first round of next year's election in April

 A new poll on Wednesday predicted Hollande would win just seven percent of votes in the first round of next year’s election in April

His announcement came just a few days after French prime minister Manuel Valls said he is ‘ready’ to compete in the left-wing Socialist primary in January.

It is the first time since the Second World War that an incumbent French president has not sought re-election.

Looking sombre, he said: ‘I am aware today of the risk that going down a route that would not gather sufficient support would entail, so I have decided not to be a candidate in the presidential election.’

His announcement came just a few days after prime minister Manuel Valls (left, pictured with Hollande), said he is 'ready' to compete in the left-wing Socialist primary in January

His announcement came just a few days after prime minister Manuel Valls (left, pictured with Hollande), said he is ‘ready’ to compete in the left-wing Socialist primary in January

The surprise move throws the selection of a Socialist candidate wide open

The surprise move throws the selection of a Socialist candidate wide open

Hollande, who is France’s most unpopular president in polling history, had until mid-December to say whether he will take part in left-wing primaries, which would decide his camp’s candidate in the April and May presidential election.

All recent polls foresee Hollande or any other Socialist candidate failing to pass the first round of the presidential election next year, predicting a run-off battle between centre-right candidate Francois Fillon and the leader of the far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen.

Several other Socialists, including ex-economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, have said they will take part in the party’s primaries in January.

 

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