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Hollande Widens Lead Over Sarkozy to 18 Points, BVA Survey Shows

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Socialist Francois Hollande widened his lead over French President Nicolas Sarkozy to 18 percentage points from last week, according to a BVA poll.

They survey, to be published in tomorrow’s Le Parisien, showed Hollande with a lead of 59 percent to 41 percent in a head-to-head match. Last month, the gap was 58 percent to 42 percent. In a multi-candidate race, Hollande’s lead remained at eight points, 33 percent to 25 percent. The pollster questioned 963 people and no margin of error was published.

The first round of voting in the French presidential election is April 22 with a run-off May 6.

In a poll published earlier today, a majority of voters said they didn’t want either of the leading candidates. Fifty-two percent of the French don’t want Hollande as president, said a Viavoice poll for Liberation newspaper. Two-thirds disliked Sarkozy.

Viavoice interviewed 1,001 voters by telephone March 1-2. The margin of error is as much as 3.1 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at gviscusi@bloomberg.net

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

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