PARIS, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Francois Hollande won France's first-ever Socialist Party primary for the country's 2012 presidential election Sunday, election results showed.
With between 2.2 million and 2.7 million votes counted, Hollande, a lawyer and career politician, led with 56 percent of the votes, followed by party leader Martine Aubry with 44 percent in their second-round runoff, The New York Times reported.
Aubry conceded defeat in a televised statement, saying she wanted "to warmly salute the victory of Francois Hollande" and called for party unity "around our candidate."
Hollande won the first round of voting Oct. 9 as well with 39 percent of the vote to Aubry's 30 percent.
Hollande will challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, in the 2012 election.
An opinion poll in Journal Du Dimanche reported 61 percent of French residents said there has been too much media coverage of the primary campaign, Radio France Internationale reported.
The four televised debates and other media buzz has squeezed the other parties out of the pre-election debates during the past few weeks.