Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande led President Nicolas Sarkozy 54 percent to 46 percent on the eve of their only debate, an Ifop poll showed.
Hollande’s eight-point advantage was down from 10 points, 55-45, in the previous survey. Ifop interviewed 1,876 registered voters by telephone between April 26 and 29. The results, on the Paris Match website, had no margin of error.
Forty-three percent of supporters of first round anti- immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen would vote for Sarkozy in the May 6 runoff, 18 percent plan to vote for Hollande and 39 percent wouldn’t say, according to the poll. Le Pen got 18 percent of the vote in the April 22 first round.
Supporters of self-styled centrist Francois Bayrou are more divided with 31 percent planning to vote for Sarkozy, 28 percent for Hollande and 41 percent declining to say, the poll found. An estimated 80 percent of leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon’s supporters will cast their ballot for Hollande.
Bayrou won 9.1 percent on April 22 while Melenchon got 11 percent.
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