Hollande Maintains Lead Over Sarkozy in French Election Poll

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- French Socialist challenger Francois Hollande would defeat President Nicolas Sarkozy by 56 percent to 44 percent in the May 6 presidential runoff, a BVA poll held April 16 and 17 showed.

The gap was unchanged from a BVA survey on April 11 and 12. For the April 22 first round, Sarkozy would get 27.5 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from the previous poll. Hollande’s score fell 0.5 point to 29.5 percent, the BVA poll for Orange and RTL showed.

National Front candidate Marine Le Pen would get 14 percent of the votes in the first round, ahead of leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon with 13 percent and self-styled centrist Francois Bayrou with 12 percent.

BVA polled 1,161 registered voters by telephone and Internet April 16 and 17. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, BVA said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net

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