Hollande Keeps Final-Round Lead as Sarkozy Gains in French Poll

Socialist challenger Francois Hollande maintained his lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy for the decisive run-off of the French presidential election, while losing ground for the first round, a poll showed today.

The survey, conducted by TNS-Sofres/Sopra Group for I-Tele cable channel, shows Hollande would win a head-to-head race in the May 6 second round by 55 percent to 45 percent for Sarkozy. The gap narrowed from the 58-42 measured in the previous poll March 12.

Sarkozy gained over Hollande in the first-round survey, leading 29 percent against 28 percent for Hollande. Sarkozy gained 3 percentage points and Hollande lost two from March 12, TNS said.

Anti-immigrant campaigner Marine Le Pen was third at 15 percent, down one percentage point. Anti-capitalist candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon gained most, up 3.5 points to 13.5 percent.

Under the French system, the top two vote getters go into a run-off vote.

The survey was carried out March 26-27 among a sample of 1,000 people aged 18 and older and registered to vote. The pollster did not publish margins of error.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.