PARIS – The resurgent French left, riding on popular anger at conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy and global financial markets, endorsed former Socialist Party chief Francois Hollande on Sunday as its candidate for next year’s presidential elections.

Voter worries about high unemployment, spending cuts and what to do about high state debt formed the backdrop for Sunday’s Socialist Party primary, and are likely to dominate the overall presidential campaign.

Hollande, a 57-year-old legislator and moderate leftist, is a low-key consensus builder who says his main selling point is that he’s not the attention-grabbing Sarkozy.

Hollande was the longtime partner of the Socialists’ last presidential candidate, Segolene Royal.

Hollande has no grand proposals for solving the euro debt crisis, which is costing France billions and unsettling markets the world over, or for awakening growth in the world’s fifth-largest economy. Or for solving tensions with immigrants.

And he’s little known outside France, a potential handicap for someone who wants to run a nuclear-armed nation and diplomatic power.

Yet opinion polls suggest Hollande could easily unseat Sarkozy, who is widely expected to seek a second five-year term in elections in April and May.