Presidential race in France in final stage

The presidential race in France has entered its final week with pro-American Nicolas Sarkozy leading socialist Segolene Royal in the polls. Turnout during the first round of the presidential election was 84%, the highest in decades. 

Sarkozy staged his last big Paris rally on Sunday in a stadium packed with 20,000 fans. He told the crowd he wants to unify France and address the issues facing the country's people. He has said he will make sweeping reforms.

Royal promised to defend and revitalise public hospitals. She has promised to make France a fairer society.

The French are looking for change and improved economic fortunes after 12 years of stagnation under outgoing president Jacques Chirac.