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Hollande Widens Second-Round Lead Over Sarkozy, Poll Shows

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April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Francois Hollande, France’s Socialist presidential candidate, widened his lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy in voting intentions for the second round of the 2012 election, a BVA poll showed.

Hollande would win 56 percent support if the decisive second-round ballot were held now, compared with 44 percent for the incumbent, according to the poll for today’s Le Parisien newspaper. That’s a 12-point lead for Hollande, compared with eight points a week earlier.

French voters will chose between 10 candidates for the first round of the election April 22 and the two front-runners will face-off in a May 6 ballot. The two candidates are almost neck-and-neck in first round voting intention with Hollande leading Sarkozy by 28 to 27 percent of voters, BVA said.

The poll, based on responses from 2,555 registered voters aged 18 or more, was conducted March 29-31 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 points, BVA said.

To contact the reporters on this story: James Kraus in London at jkraus2@bloomberg.net; Mark Deen in Paris at markdeen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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