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Sarkozy, Hollande Neck and Neck in First-Round Presidential Poll

French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande and the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, remained neck and neck in first-round support, according to the daily Ifop tracking poll.

Hollande has 28 percent backing and Sarkozy 27 percent in the April 22 first round of the election, both up half a percentage point from Feb. 24, according to Ifop. The National Front’s Marine Le Pen has 17.5 percent support, Francois Bayrou of the centrist Democratic Movement 12 percent support and Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon 9 percent.

For the second round on May 6, Hollande’s lead narrowed to 55.5 percent against 44.5 for Sarkozy, compared with a 12-point lead in the previous poll.

Paris-based Ifop interviewed 882 registered voters through an internet questionnaire. The survey, conducted every day except weekends, is published by Paris Match magazine.

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