Final results for France's presidential election confirmed Monday that Socialist candidate Francois Hollande won with 51.62 percent of the vote to Nicolas Sarkozy's 48.38, the interior ministry said.
The final official tally recorded more than 18 million votes for the victor -- who had already been recognized as president-elect. Sarkozy got 16.9 million votes and 2.1 million people cast blank or spoiled ballots.
Turnout was just over 80 percent of an electorate of 46 million potential voters, relatively high by modern standards but down on the last presidential election in 2007.
Most of the results were already known late on Sunday when Hollande staged a massive victory rally in the iconic Place de la Bastille in Paris and Sarkozy conceded defeat before supporters at a nearby conference center.
But results from French citizens living abroad and voting by proxy or at consulates took longer to arrive.
Turnout among expatriates was much lower than for those at home, with just 42.2 percent of those registered taking part, and the result was different. Among the French abroad Sarkozy won 53.05 percent of the vote to Hollande's 46.95.
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