Royal on track as Socialist presidential candidate

18th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 17, 2006 (AFP) - France's Ségolène Royal crushed other potential Socialist Party presidential candidates in a survey of left-leaning voters to be published Monday in French daily Libération.

PARIS, Sept 17, 2006 (AFP) - France's Ségolène Royal crushed other potential Socialist Party presidential candidates in a survey of left-leaning voters to be published Monday in French daily Libération.

At the same time, 68 percent of French registered voters said they were in favor of "national unity government" in which left- and right-wing parties would share power.

Two months ahead of the primary vote in which Socialist Party members will select their candidate, Royal was among the top three choices of 62 percent of those polled.

Scoring a distant second in the LH2 Institute survey of 409 left-wing voters was ex-finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn, with 30 percent, followed by two former prime ministers who are also testing presidential waters, Lionel Jospin and Laurent Fabius.

The deadline for declaring oneself as a presidential candidate is in two weeks, and the election is slated for next spring.

Jospin — who was knocked out in the first round of the 2002 presidential vote, putting far-right candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen in the runoff against Jacques Chirac — scored 29 percent in the survey, with Fabius getting a thumbs up from 16 percent of those polled.

All four of the top-scoring candidates improved their percentages as compared to a similar poll in June, showing that the field has narrowed.

Royal picked up seven points and Strauss-Kahn improved his tally by six, while Jospin's and Fabius' scores were boosted by five and seven points, respectively.

In another poll of 1,010 adults conducted on September 13 and 14 by CSA, 68 percent of French people said they favored a left-right power-sharing government. Of that number, 23 percent said they were "entirely" in favor, and 45 percent said they were "largely" in favor of such an arrangement.

Sixteen percent those polled said they were "largely" opposed to power-sharing, and 12 percent said they were "entirely" opposed.

When asked the same question in October 2005, only 55 percent of voting-age French favored what the French call "co-habitation" between left-wing and right-wing parties.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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