Roughly 82% of French citizens who cast their ballots in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, Afula, Ashdod and Netanya on Sunday voted for Sarkozy. The conservative president's Socialist challenger, Francois Hollande, received only 7.5% of votes cast in the Jewish state, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen came in third.
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In France, Hollande appeared to head into the May 6 second round with the upper hand after narrowly edging the Sarkozy, according to near-complete official results.
In the campaign's biggest surprise, nearly one in five voters chose Le Pen instead, handing her a solid third place and a chance to weigh in on French politics with her anti-immigration platform that targets France's millions of Muslims.
With 93% of the vote counted, Hollande had 28.4% of the ballots cast and Sarkozy 27%, according to figures released by France's Interior Ministry.
Le Pen was in third with 18.3% of the vote so far, the best showing ever by the far right National Front party founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Turnout was also surprisingly high, at more than 80%, despite concern that a campaign focusing on nostalgia for a more protected past would fail to inspire voters.
AP contributed to the report
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