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Sarkozy Gains in Poll, Would Still Lose Election to Hollande

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy gained support from voters ahead of next year’s election, while Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande lost backing, according to a poll by market researcher LH2 for Yahoo! Inc.

Sarkozy would get 29 percent of votes in the first round of presidential elections, up from 24 percent last month, while voting intentions for Hollande fell to 30 percent from 39 percent, the poll showed. The Socialist Party candidate would beat Sarkozy in a second round run-off with 58 percent of the vote, compared with 42 percent for the incumbent.

Sarkozy has been climbing in polls this month amid his efforts to manage the European Union crisis, with approval ratings rising in polls by TNS-Sofres for Le Figaro Magazine and Ipsos for Le Point weekly.

“The current resident of the Elysee benefits from a return of interest and confidence by the French, after his mobilization and his leadership confirmed by the management of the Greek crisis,” LH2 said.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen would get 15 percent of the first-round vote, according to the poll on voting intentions, which was conducted by LH2 on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 by telephone among 958 people. The margin of error was about 3.5 to 4 points, according to the report.

Intended votes for Sarkozy in the second round climbed 2 percentage points, while declining by a similar magnitude for Hollande, according to the poll.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dick Schumacher at dschumacher@bloomberg.net

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