Royal and Sarkozy neck-and-neck in race: poll

23rd August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 23, 2006 (AFP) - France's leading contenders for next year's presidential elections, Socialist politician Segolene Royal and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, are in a statistical dead heat according to a poll released Wednesday.

PARIS, Aug 23, 2006 (AFP) - France's leading contenders for next year's presidential elections, Socialist politician Segolene Royal and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, are in a statistical dead heat according to a poll released Wednesday.

The survey, by the IPSOS polling institute, shows Sarkozy has 51 percent of voting intentions in a run-off election against Royal, who garnered 49 percent.

Although no margin of error was given for the survey, three percentage points is typical, meaning any difference between the two is too close to call and they are statistically neck-and-neck.

The IPSOS survey contrasted with a poll by the rival IFOP institute published on the weekend which gave Royal a clear lead over Sarkozy, 55 to 42 percent.

The French elections are due to be held in two rounds starting next April. The first is open to all qualified hopefuls, while the second will be a run-off between the two leading candidates.

All the polls currently agree that those two candidates are likely to be Royal and Sarkozy, though both have to first win nominations from their respective parties in the coming months.

The IPSOS poll found that Royal had the backing of 63 percent of voters, while Sarkozy had 57 percent.

But Sarkozy enjoyed a nucleus of 24 percent of voters who declared themselves "certain" to vote for him, while Royal's core was only 17 percent.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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