The Staggers 9 October 2011 French socialist primary The runners and riders. Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Voting in the first round of the primary to choose the Socialist candidate at next year's French presidential election takes place today. Unlike in 2006, all French citizens are eligible to vote - not just activists of the Parti Socialiste (PS). There are six candidates, one of whom, Jean-Michel Baylet, is not a member of the PS (Baylet is president of the Parti radical de gauche). They are: Martine Aubry François Hollande Arnaud Montebourg Ségolène Royal Manuel Valls Jean-Michel Baylet If no candidate achieves more than 50 per cent of the vote, a second round will take place next Sunday (16 October). Two recent polls put Hollande in the lead with 43 and 40 per cent respectively, followed by Aubry (29/28 per cent), Montebourg (12/11 per cent), Royal (11/6 per cent), Valls (6/5 per cent) and Baylet (1/1 per cent). I'll be blogging the results of the first round on the Staggers tomorrow. › What is China up to in Africa? Jonathan Derbyshire is executive opinion editor of the Financial Times. He was formerly managing editor of Prospect and culture editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!