Implosion looms for French socialists as 'irreconcilable' presidential candidates head for knock-out vote

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The two sides, the furthest apart of any in the French socialist primary elections, are “irreconcilable” to borrow the words of former prime minister Manuel Valls, who stepped down from government last month to take part in the race. He and Benoît Hamon, who served under Valls as education minister before leaving the government in protest over its drift to the Right, and who came in lead position in Sunday’s first-round result, will now face off together in the second and final round of the elections to choose a candidate for the Socialist Party and its allies in France’s presidential elections this spring.