France's Royal favourite for president

7th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal is favourite to win the presidency, beating her likely right-wing rival Nicolas Sarkozy by one percentage point, a fresh poll showed.

PARIS, Jan 6, 2007 (AFP) - France's Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal is favourite to win the presidency, beating her likely right-wing rival Nicolas Sarkozy by one percentage point, a fresh poll showed.

The Ifop poll for the Journal de Dimanche weekly newspaper had Royal winning with 50.5 percent of the vote in the second round, with 49.5 percent for Sarkozy, who is expected to announce his candidacy unchallenged next week.

Far-right National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen would get 12 percent of the vote in the first round, according to the sample poll, while 11 percent of those questioned said they would vote for the television presenter and environmental campaigner Nicolas Hulot in the first round if he decided to run.

Royal's rating was up half a point from a poll carried out by the same institute in late November. Last week a separate survey by CSA showed Royal slipping one point to 52 percent and Sarkozy picking up one to 48 percent.

Another poll also due in Sunday's edition of the paper concluded that 81 percent of people think President Jacques Chirac should not run for a third term in the April election.

Chirac, a staunch rival of Sarkozy, is said to be in failing health at 74, but has so far refused to rule out the possibility of seeking a third mandate.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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