April 22 - Presidential candidate Francois Hollande votes in the first round of the French election, in his hometown of Tulle. (Rough cut only - no reporter narration.)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Socialist candidate and frontrunner in the French election race, Francois Hollande casts his vote in his hometown of Tulle in the first round of the presidential election. Opinion polls have given the challenger a double-digit lead over French President Nicolas Sarkozy for a May 6 runoff. Sarkozy moved briefly into the lead in polls for the first round on April 22 following his handling of a shooting drama in south-western France in March, but he has slipped back again in more recent polls and the runoff gap has widened. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, hard leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and centrist Francois Bayrou rank in third, fourth and fifth place for the April 22 first round between 10 candidates. 57-year-old Hollande promises less drastic spending cuts than Sarkozy and wants higher taxes on the wealthy to fund state-aided job creation, in particular a 75 percent upper tax rate on income above 1 million euros (1.32 million U.S. dollars). He would become France's first left-wing president since Francois Mitterrand, who beat incumbent Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1981.