Royal leads goodwill poll of French voters

21st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - More French people want socialist Segolene Royal to win the presidential elections than right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy, a survey showed on Tuesday -- despite the latter leading voting intention polls.

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - More French people want socialist Segolene Royal to win the presidential elections than right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy, a survey showed on Tuesday -- despite the latter leading voting intention polls.

When asked which of the three leading candidates they would "personally like to win", 36 percent named Royal, 33 percent named centrist candidate Francois Bayrou and only 29 percent named interior minister and UMP candidate Sarkozy.

About 1,000 people were questioned in the poll, conducted by the BVA Institute for L'Express and Metro newspapers between March 15 and 17.

However, a survey by the IFOP institute measuring voting intentions, to be published on Wednesday in Paris-Match magazine, confirmed Sarkozy's lead.

If the second round of the presidential elections was on Sunday and involved Sarkozy and Royal, 53 percent (+1.5) said they would vote for the former against 47 percent (-1.5) for the Socialist Party candidate.

In the first round of elections, Sarkozy would get 28 percent of the vote (+2) ahead of Royal's 24 percent (=), Bayrou's 21 percent (-1,5) and 14 percent (=) for right-wing candidate Jean Marie Le Pen, the poll showed.

In a public meeting on Tuesday, Sarkozy rounded on his presidential rivals, saying Royal's plans for citizen juries reminded him of the Russian 'soviets' or governing councils.

He also attacked calls by both the Socialist Party candidate and Bayrou for a reform of France's institutions, saying that reducing the power of the president would only lead to instability.

An IPSOS poll for Le Point also published on Tuesday suggested Sarkozy would lead in the first round with 29.5 percent, followed by 25 percent for Royal, 21.5 percent for Bayrou and 12 percent for Le Pen.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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