Sarkozy Closing Gap On Hollande

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The FINANCIAL — Incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy is closing the gap on socialist challenger Francois Hollande in voting intentions for the second round, a poll showed Monday.


According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, the poll by Ipsos of 988 people on Friday and Saturday showed Sarkozy taking 47% of the vote in the second round, an increase of one point from the poll conducted immediately after the first round of elections on April 22.

The poll comes after a week of intense campaigning from both Sarkozy and Hollande, who are looking to pick up votes from those candidates who were eliminated in the first round. Sarkozy has moved further to the right, repeatedly underlining his strong line on immigration and a pledge to strengthen France's borders in an attempt to pick up the first round share of almost 18% achieved by Front National's Marine Le Pen.

However, the Ipsos poll shows that the improvement in Sarkozy's score is not due to Le Pen voters planning to switch to him in the second round. Indeed, the poll showed the percentage of Le Pen voters who will vote for Sarkozy in the second round fell to 54% from 60%.

Instead, Sarkozy is benefiting from a stronger transfer of support from centrist candidate Francois Bayrou. Out of his voters, 40% now say they will transfer their votes to Sarkozy, an eight percentage point increase, the polls showed.



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