Francois Hollande's surprise announcement that he would not run for a second term as President of France has increased political uncertainty in the euro zone's second largest economy.
The decision came as political parties are gearing up for a decisive election – where populism, terrorism and economic issues are set to be the main talking points.
"The announcement by President Francois Hollande on 1 December that he will not run for re-election in 2017 will have a limited impact on the left's chances of retaining power," said Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence in a note.
Hollande's withdrawal means the socialist party has a vacancy to fill. At the moment there are seven candidates fighting for that position and Prime Minister Manuel Valls may be preparing a bid. Polls suggest that Valls and former Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg are the most likely candidates to represent the Socialists in the presidential election.
"The vote is going to be horribly spilt within the socialist party when we come to the primaries," David Marsh, managing director of OMFIF, told CNBC on Friday.
However, analysts believe that it doesn't really matter who will represent Hollande's party. The center-left candidate will have to deal with Hollande's legacy – a failure to bring down unemployment and revive the country's economy – a divided party and an electorate concerned with security after several terrorist attacks.