I am encouraged that Sarkozy won what is probably the highest score for a "RPR now UMP"* candidate in the first round for the last 20 years. I am concerned about what Bayrou's supporters will do next with their votes, given that they didn't really think that through in the first round. Many socialists voted Bayrou believing he would have a better chance to beat Sarkozy in the second round...
Royal, since she has no program that any decent economist would support is building an "all but Sarkozy" coalition. I watched the live BBC 24 coverage of the elections and apparently, French people now understand that they need to change if they want to survive in the 21st century. Royal is positioning herself as the agent of "gentle change" as opposed to Sarkozy's more "brutal" methods.
Mathematically, if Sarkozy does not win Bayrou's voters, he will lose to Royal. Now imagine France as a car whose handbrake has been released, sliding slowly downhill towards a cliff. Voting Royal is like pressing the accelerator with both feet.
* Let's compare UK and French political parties: the UMP, which is "right wing" in France would be at the left of "New Labour". That's how liberal we are. Royal's supporters would be speaking standing on a box in Hyde Park corner.