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Sarkozy Trails Hollande by 14 Percentage Points, Poll Says

Socialist Party challenger Francois Hollande leads President Nicolas Sarkozy by 14 percentage points, according to a poll by LH2.

Hollande would defeat Sarkozy 57 percent to 43 percent if the second round of next year’s elections were held now, the poll said. Hollande lost 1 percentage point and Sarkozy gained one point since the previous LH2 poll in late November. Hollande led 60-40 percent in a LH2 poll in October.

In the first round of the election, Hollande would take 31.5 percent, Sarkozy 26 percent, and anti-immigrant campaigner Marine le Pen 13.5 percent. Under the French system, a run-off will be held May 6 if no one gets a majority in the April 22 first round.

According to the poll, 55 percent of Le Pen voters would opt for Sarkozy in the second round and 45 percent for Hollande.

Fifty-five percent said that France losing its top credit rating would hurt Sarkozy’s re-election campaign and 36 percent said it would have no effect. Eighty-one percent said ratings companies have too much power over government policy.

The poll was commissioned by Yahoo! Inc., the U.S. Internet company. It involved 953 people questioned Dec. 9 and 10, and the margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.

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