Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande would tie in the first- round presidential vote in April if the National Front’s Marine Le Pen fails to qualify, an Ifop poll showed.
Sarkozy and Hollande would each get 33 percent of the vote followed by Francois Bayrou with 17 percent, according to the poll published today in newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. That compares with an Ifop poll published two days ago that gave Hollande 29.5 percent of the vote, Sarkozy 24.5 percent and Le Pen 19 percent.
Le Pen says she has so far failed to gather the 500 endorsements from mayors, lawmakers or other elected officials that she needs under French law to put her on the presidential ballot. Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie had also complained of problems getting endorsements in the lead up to the 2007 presidential election he contested as the previous leader of the anti-immigration National Front.
Hollande has consistently led Sarkozy in polls ahead of the first round of voting on April 22. The top two candidates from the first round face off in the decisive contest May 6.
The Ifop poll of 922 people was carried out Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. No margin of error was given.
--Editors: Linda Shen, Kristen Hallam
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