French voters headed to the polls to begin the process of picking "le president." France does things a little differently from the United States for its national election.
For one thing, there are multiple parties, and the winning candidate must hold a majority of votes. Because this time around three candidates split the vote in round one, voters will head back for a second round of voting on May 6.
The incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy is fighting to hold on for a second five-year term. The conservative will face socialist Francois Hollande, who managed to upset the standing president with a vote of 28.63% to 27.18%--but is still far from a majority needed to declare him the next president.
A shocker: the strong showing of Marine Le Pen, who heads the anti-immigrant National Front party, which scored a sizable 18% of the vote. The daughter of the party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, she managed to almost double the party's vote since 2007, when the National Front took just 10.4%.Read More »from France: elections explainer