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Le Pen to cast blank vote in French presidential runoff

  • The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to endorse either President Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in Sunday’s presidential runoff.

    The National Front leader told supporters she would cast a blank vote and urged party loyalists to follow and vote with their conscience.

    The move has dealt a further blow to Sarkozy’s re-election bid, according to political pundits.

    Sarkozy needs the majority of the 6.4 million voters who voted for the National Front in the first round of polling ten days ago to support him in the second.

    Latest opinion polls suggest Hollande has a six to ten point lead over Sarkozy and his centre-right UMP party.