France

Sarkozy edges closer


Published

Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent president in France has finally managed to edge ahead of his socialist rival, Francois Hollande, in the opinion polls just four weeks before the first round polling day on 22nd April.

A poll by CSA polling agency shows Sarkozy on 30%, up two percentage points whilst Francois Hollande remains on 28%. Sarkozy appears to have benefited from a drop in support for the far right National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen. She is now on 13.5% of the vote. He may have benefitted slightly from the dropping out of the presidential race of Dominique de Villepin, worth about 1.5% of the vote.

The survey also asked people which topics were their priority. When asked ‘From the following topics, which ones you would like to see given priority by the presidential candidates in this campaign?’ 56% said employment. This was way out in front of other issues, with purchasing power coming next at 34% and then education at 25%.

When asked ‘From the following topics, which ones do you think are those most frequently discussed by presidential candidates in this campaign?’ 39% said immigration, 35% said state debt, and 34% said employment.

Although the poll looks like good news for President Sarkozy the figures for the first round do not translate into a win in round two. Here both candidates remain stationary with Hollande on 54% and Sarkozy on 46%.

Another poll by the BVA polling agency puts Francois Hollande on 29.5% and Nicolas Sarkozy on 28%, suggesting that in the first round the two candidates are now neck and neck. In the second round the BVA poll also shows Hollande winning on 54% to Sarkozy’s 46%.

Campaigning has now re-commenced after the shootings in Toulouse and the eventual killing of the gunman in a battle with security police.

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