Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe will win The Republicans party nomination to run for president in 2017, beating Nicolas Sarkozy, according to a poll from Ipsos published in daily newspaper Le Monde Tuesday. 

Forty-four percent of the respondents who are “certain” to vote in the party’s primary elections said they would choose Juppe, compared with 32 percent for Sarkozy, Ipsos, which conducted the survey with the Cevipof political institute, said. While former President Sarkozy may win more votes among party followers, The Republicans’ primaries will be open to all voters, which could allow Juppe to take the lead, the survey shows.

President Francois Hollande would lose the first round of the 2017 presidential election if either Sarkozy or Juppe win The Republicans’ primaries. In both cases, he would place behind National Front leader Marine Le Pen, the survey shows. Juppe, 70, would lead the presidential first round if he was The Republicans’ candidate, while Sarkozy would come second behind Le Pen, according to the poll.

France’s two-round presidential elections will be held in May 2017 and The Republicans’ primaries will be held in November.

The Ipsos-Cevipof survey of registered voters was conducted between Jan. 22 and 31 via the Internet.

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