Socialist Hollande would crush France's Sarkozy: poll

20th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Socialist challenger Francois Hollande would crush incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with 64 percent of the vote in the final round of a presidential election due next year, a poll showed on Thursday.

The poll by firm BVA showed Hollande, elected as the Socialist nominee in a primary on Sunday, winning the first round of a presidential election with 39 percent of the vote, against 23 percent for right-winger Sarkozy and 19 percent for the leader of the far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen.

In a second round run-off, Sarkozy would take only 36 percent of the vote against 64 percent for Hollande, the poll found.

France is to vote in a presidential election next April and, if as expected no candidate wins a first-round majority, in a second round in May.

Hollande had gained eight points since July in the poll while Sarkozy's support was stable, BVA said.

Hollande's profile was boosted by the unprecedented US-style primary, which drew 2.8 million voters to the polls in its final round and won widespread media coverage.

Hollande, considered a centrist within the Socialist party, defeated left-leaning Martine Aubry in the primary with 57 percent of the vote.

Tainted by scandals and French economic woes, Sarkozy has been struggling in opinion polls and experts say he is unlikely to get a lasting boost from the birth Wednesday of his first child, a girl, with wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

The poll saw a representative sample of 753 people interviewed on October 17 and 18.

© 2011 AFP

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