Royal and Sarkozy neck-and-neck in the poll

20th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 20, 2007 (AFP) - Presidential frontrunners Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal would come neck-and-neck in the run-off vote on May 6, according to a poll published Friday on the last day of campaigning for the first round.

PARIS, April 20, 2007 (AFP) - Presidential frontrunners Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal would come neck-and-neck in the run-off vote on May 6, according to a poll published Friday on the last day of campaigning for the first round.

It is the second survey in a week to put the Socialist Royal on equal footing with her right-wing rival Sarkozy, who has held the lead in opinion polls since January.

Both were conducted by CSA, which puts Royal's score several points higher than other French polling institutes.

The latest one, published by Le Parisien newspaper, credits Sarkozy with 27 percent of voting intentions in Sunday's first round, ahead of Royal on 26. In round two, both would garner 50 percent.

The centrist Francois Bayrou would get 17 percent in round one, barely ahead of far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on 16 percent.

But another poll released the same day suggests a sweeping victory for Sarkozy with 53.5 percent of second round votes, over Royal with 46.5 percent.

The Ipsos/Dell survey, published in Le Point magazine, put Sarkozy firmly in the lead in Sunday's first round, on 30 percent of the votes, ahead of Royal on 23 percent, Bayrou at 18 and Le Pen at 13 percent.

In the event of a run-off between Sarkozy and Bayrou, the survey suggested a victory for the centrist, by 52 to 48 percent.

A third poll by Ifop, published Friday in Metro newspaper, shows Sarkozy on 51 against Royal on 49 percent in the second round.

In round one, the right-winger would get 28 percent of votes, followed by Royal on 22.5, Bayrou on 20 and Le Pen on 13 percent.

Two days from the first round of voting, one in three French voters is still undecided in an election seen as one of the most unpredictable ever.

With polls suggesting Sarkozy is almost guaranteed a place in the May 6 run-off, Sunday's vote largely comes down to a battle for second place between Royal and Bayrou.

Commentators suggest that Royal could lose to Bayrou, if her voters decide that he stands a better chance of beating Sarkozy in the second round, as suggested by opinion polls.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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