François Hollande, the self-styled "Mr Normal" of the French left, has topped the Socialist party primary vote to choose a challenger to Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential election.
But Hollande, a wisecracking rural MP, now faces a bruising second-round runoff against Martine Aubry, the mayor of Lille and architect of France's 35-hour week, who scored well and vowed to become the first woman president of France.
Read how I beat the banks when transferring money
Visit This French Life Currency Services to find out how to save money the next time you send euros to France.
Kundalini Yoga classes
Learn to relax with Kundalini Yoga lessons in Villefranche-du-Périgord.
Books on France
Take a browse over these books about France and read some reviews and interviews.