Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Socialist challenger Francois Hollande is favored to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential election, two polls showed.
Hollande is backed to be president by 45 percent of respondents compared with 30 percent for Sarkozy and 31 percent for Francois Bayrou, according to a Viavoice poll to be published tomorrow in the newspaper Liberation. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, got the backing of 15 percent of those surveyed.
Hollande’s rating rose from 41 percent while Sarkozy’s support dropped from 31 percent in a previous poll conducted on Jan. 5 and 6. Sarkozy’s popularity, measured in a separate question on the survey, fell two percentage points to 34 percent from the previous poll, Viavoice said in a statement.
The top two candidates from the first round face off in the decisive contest May 6. Hollande has consistently led Sarkozy in polls ahead of the first round of voting on April 22.
Another poll by LH2 for Yahoo! published today also put Hollande ahead of Sarkozy. Asked who they would vote for in the first round of the election, 34 percent of respondents backed Hollande compared with 25.5 percent for Sarkozy, 15 percent for Le Pen and 12 percent for Bayrou. Voter intention in the second round shows Hollande at 57 percent and Sarkozy at 43 percent, the pollster said.
The Vivavoice poll of 1,391 people was carried out Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 while LH2 surveyed 955 people Feb. 3 and 4. The margins of error given in both vary according to the percentage obtained.
--Editors: Linda Shen, Kristen Hallam
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