According to France’s Interior Ministry Hollande took around 51.7% of the runoff vote to Nicolas Sarkozy’s 48.3%, with turnout at 81%, france 24 reported.
“We are not a France divided, we are one single France, all united in the same destiny,” he told his supporters, according to france 24.
Celebrations were held at the iconic Place de la Bastille in central Paris, the same place where the last Socialist to win a presidential election, François Mitterrand, celebrated his victory back in 1981.
Hollande, who led in the polls throughout the campaign, won the April 22 first round with 28.6 per cent to 27.2 per cent for Sarkozy – making the right-winger the first-ever incumbent to lose in the first round.
The country’s 46 million eligible voters voted at polling stations from 06:00 GMT on Sunday, after a campaign that had seen both Sarkozy and Hollande label the other a liar.
According to a survey by Ipsos polling institute, half of Hollande’s voters said their main reason for voting for the Hollande was to unseat Sarkozy.
Hollande will be sworn in as France’s president on May 14 or 15.