Bloomberg News

Hollande Holds Lead Over Sarkozy After Shootings, Poll Shows

March 27, 2012

Socialist Francois Hollande maintained his lead over French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the runoff round as the Toulouse killings this month had little effect on the presidential campaign, a poll showed.

Hollande would win a head-to-head race in the May 6 second round 54 percent to 46 percent, according to a biweekly Ifop Fiducial poll for Europe 1 radio, Paris Match and Public Senat. The last survey gave him a 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent lead.

Sarkozy leads Hollande for the April 22 first round by 28.5 percent to 26.5 percent. Sarkozy’s score was unchanged from the previous survey, while Hollande lost 0.5 percentage point in the 10-candidate race.

The survey was carried out March 22 to 25 among a sample of 1,769 people. The margin of error is about 2.1 percentage points.

On the morning of March 22, after a 32-hour siege that was covered live on French television stations, police killed Mohamed Merah, a self-declared jihadist who had murdered three soldiers, three Jewish children, and a French-Israeli teacher in a nine-day-long killing spree.

A separate BVA poll released today showed the Toulouse events haven’t made security a major issue. Only 8 percent listed “security” as a major influence on their vote, well behind purchasing power at 42 percent and unemployment at 30 percent. Eighty-one percent said the Toulouse events weren’t important in their voting choice.

The BVA poll, commissioned by newspaper Le Parisien, involved 890 people questioned on March 26.

The Ifop poll showed a continued drop in support for anti- immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen, whose backing fell by half a point to 16 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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