PARIS, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- French voters headed to the polls Sunday to choose a Socialist candidate to face President Nicolas Sarkozy in April 2012.
Under a new system, those who are not card-carrying Socialists could vote in the election if they paid one euro and prove their support of the left-wing party, Radio France Internationale reported Sunday.
At least one poll predicted a win for former party leader Francois Hollande with 42 percent of the votes, RFI said. Martine Aubry, who created France's 35-hour work week, would be the next likely candidate.
Recent polls indicate either candidate could beat Sarkozy, the first time in 17 years a Socialist candidate could win the race.
Segolene Royale, Hollande's former partner and mother of their four children, is also in the race, along with Manuel Valls from the Socialist right and Arnaud Montebourg, who is on a protectionist ticket.
Jean-Michel Baylet, head of the centrist Radical Party of the Left and the only non-Socialist, rounds out the ballot.