Split vote tumbles French conservatives into dispute

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative party was in disarray today after a vote for its next leader produced a razor-thin result – and both candidates claimed victory.

Former prime minister Francois Fillon and former budget minister Jean-Francois Cope were grappling for control of the Union for a Popular Movement party in yesterday’s ballot.

The dispute over the winner has extended into today.

The winner will head opposition to President Francois Hollande’s Socialist leadership.

In the spring, after a decade in power, the UMP lost both the presidency and control of the National Assembly to Socialists.

Mr Sarkozy remains a behind-the-scenes presence.

Mr Fillon is seen mostly as an even-tempered moderate, while former UMP leader Mr Cope has reached out to the far right and led the legislative effort that banned face-covering Muslim veils.

More in this Section

One dead, many injured in Kentucky high school shooting

Presidential hopeful arrested in Egypt ahead of March election

US embassy to open in Jerusalem by end of 2019, Mike Pence vows

A town in Australia may have once been a part of Canada, new study suggests


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner