>> Socialist candidates joined voters at the ballot box Sunday, to make their voices heard in France's nationwide presidential primary vote. Ex-Prime Minister Manuel Valls facing an outside risk of failing to make the run-off vote in a weeks time. Opinion polls suggest no socialist has much chance of winning the presidential election itself this coming spring.
Chiefly due to current President Francois Hollande's wide unpopularity. Valls
Critics say pro-business socialist Valls has struggled to defend his government's record. Despite this, he has constantly topped popularity polls, although Hamon was seen to have made a stronger impression in a series of televised debates. Formerly popular, the Socialist Party has seen support evaporate during Hollande's presidency. He has struggled to turn the economy around and alienated left-wing voters with his economic policies.
It's likely that the winner of the Conservative nomination will go head-to-head with the far-right National fronts Marine Le Pen for the presidency come spring.>>