Hamon wins French Socialist vote
Benoît Hamon, a leftist likened to Jeremy Corbyn, trounced ex-prime minister Manuel Valls in the French Socialist presidential primaries, partial results suggested last night.
Mr Hamon, an ex-education minister who wants to reduce the working week from 35 to 32 hours, tax robots, and provide a monthly universal basic income for all, won 58.65pc of the vote, according to the results announced by organisers based on 60pc of polling stations having reported results. "Tonight the Left holds its head up high, looks to the future and wants to win," Mr Hamon said.
Mr Valls, who won a little over 41pc of the vote, wished "good luck" to Mr Hamon, who faces an uphill struggle to unite his deeply divided party. Some pro-Valls MPs have made it clear they will not back Mr Hamon, considered too far to the left, but the victor insisted that the two camps' positions were "not irreconcilable".
His victory will boost the chances of maverick candidate Emmanuel Macron - currently the "third man" of the election on a "neither right nor left" ticket.
Front-runner François Fillon, of Les Republicains, has seen his hopes hit by a scandal involving payments of €500,000to his wife as his parliamentary assistant. He held a rally in Paris last night at which he emotionally told his critics: "Leave my wife alone!"