23 Jan 2017

Valls tops Socialist primary in New Caledonia

4:11 pm on 23 January 2017

Former French prime minister Manuel Valls has won the first round of the Socialist party's presidential primaries in New Caledonia.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Manuel Valls Photo: SUPPLIED/Pool picture

He won almost 75 percent of the 1,500 votes cast, with Benoit Hamon coming a distant second in the territory while winning most support in mainland France.

Turnout was extremely low - at less than one percent.

Twenty-six polling stations opened for the contest which will be followed with a run-off between the two men next weekend.

There is no official Socialist Party in New Caledonia whose voters overwhelmingly choose politicians of the French centre-right.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs