Juppe Widens Lead in French Presidential Primary, Poll Shows

Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe widened his lead over ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy as they compete for the 2017 presidential nomination of France’s Republican party, a poll showed.

About 41 percent of those who are certain to vote in the primary plan to support Juppe, compared with 30 percent for Sarkozy, according to an Ipsos poll for Cevipof and Le Monde published Tuesday. That’s an 11 point lead, up from 4 points a month ago.

A total of seven candidates are competing for the nomination that will be decided in two rounds of voting on Nov. 20 and 27. Polls show the winner will probably go on to become president in May next year.

President Francois Hollande’s approval rating has dropped to just 4 percent, down from 6 percent in September and 12 percent 11 months ago, according to the poll. About 26 percent of voters say they are neither satisfied nor unsatisfied with the Socialist president, while 70 percent say they are unsatisfied. On that basis, the poll’s accuracy on voting intention is just under 3 percent.

Ipsos interviewed 17,047 voters between Oct. 14 and 19, including 1,217 people who said they are certain to vote in the primary.

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