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Hollande Leads Sarkozy With Melenchon Third, BVA Poll Shows

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March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Socialist Francois Hollande would beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in both rounds of the French presidential election, according to a BVA poll which puts leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon in third place.

The survey, published in Quest France and Le Parisien newspapers today, showed Hollande with 29.5 percent in the first round and Sarkozy garnering 28 percent. Melenchon would get 14 percent of first-round votes, pulling ahead of Marine Le Pen with 13 percent and centrist Francois Bayrou on 12 percent.

In second-round voting, Hollande would beat Sarkozy by 54 percent against 46 percent. The poll, which was carried out yesterday and the day before, found that Sarkozy is judged to be more credible on security issues than Hollande and as credible on immigration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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