French voters ready for female president: poll

20th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 20, 2006 (AFP) - Nearly three out of five French voters could back a woman politician in the opposition Socialist party as their next president, according to a new survey to be published next week.

PARIS, Jan 20, 2006 (AFP) - Nearly three out of five French voters could back a woman politician in the opposition Socialist party as their next president, according to a new survey to be published next week.

Ségolène Royal could attract up to 59 percent of the vote in next year's presidential election if she decided to run, the poll commissioned by the French version of Elle magazine showed.

The 52-year-old mother-of-four, who has had experience handling the environment, teaching and family portfolios in previous administrations, would "certainly" win ballots from 16 percent of those questioned, with another 43 percent saying they "might" vote for her.

That is embarrassing for her companion, François Hollande, who is the head of the Socialist Party and thus the more likely party candidate for the presidency, even though he trails well behind her in terms of likely voter support.

The Elle poll also found that 94 percent of the public would accept a female president.

Recent surveys show that the head of the ruling conservative UMP party, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, remained the top choice for most voters to become the successor to President Jacques Chirac.

Chirac has not declared whether he intends to run for a third mandate in 2007, but at age 73 and with failing health that looks unlikely.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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