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Sarkozy Narrows Hollande’s Lead in Latest French Poll, BVA Says

French President Nicolas Sarkozy gained ground on Socialist challenger Francois Hollande after announcing his candidacy, a BVA poll showed.

Hollande would defeat Sarkozy, who announced Feb. 15 that he’s seeking re-election, by 56 percent to 44 percent in the May 6 runoff, according to the BVA survey for RTL Radio and a group of regional newspapers. That’s down from 57-43 percent in the previous Jan. 29 survey.

Hollande would finish first in the April 22 first round with 31 percent, down 3 points from the previous survey, with Sarkozy advancing 1 point to 26 percent. Anti-immigrant campaigner Marine Le Pen was unchanged at 15 percent, and centrist Francois Bayrou gained one point to 13 percent. Under the French system, the top two in the first round face off if no one wins a majority.

Still, only 46 percent found Sarkozy’s television address announcing his candidacy “convincing” while 53 percent found it “unconvincing.”

BVA surveyed 949 people on Feb. 16. No margin of error was provided.

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