Socialist challenger Francois Hollande’s lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy narrowed in the past week after police killed a self-declared Islamist terrorist in Toulouse, two polls said.
Hollande would beat Sarkozy by 54 percent to 46 percent in the decisive run-off May 6, according to both a Harris Interactive poll and an Ipsos survey. In both cases, the previous poll showed a 56 percent to 44 percent gap.
Under the French system, a run-off will be held if no one takes a majority in the April 22 first round. In that initial stage of voting, Sarkozy would take 28 percent, Hollande 27 percent, anti-immigrant campaigner Marine le Pen 16 percent, and anti-free market leader Jean-Luc Melenchon 13 percent, the Harris poll for television station La Chaine Parlementaire.
The Ipsos poll for Le Monde showed Hollande leading the first round with 28 percent, followed by Sarkozy at 27.5 percent. Next was Le Pen at 16 percent.
The Harris poll involved 1,231 people questioned March 22 to 26. Ipsos questioned 978 people on March 23 and 24. No margins of error were given.
The polls were held after French police March 22 killed Mohamed Merah, a 23-year old who had murdered three soldiers, three Jewish children, and a French-Israeli teacher in a nine- day killing spree.
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