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Sarkozy, Hollande Level in 1st Round Poll; Hollande Leads in 2nd

March 15, 2012

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist challenger Francois Hollande would receive the same share of votes in the first round of France’s presidential election with Hollande winning the run-off by a narrower margin than in previous surveys, a poll said.

The CSA survey for BFM TV, RMC Radio and 20 Minutes newspaper showed Hollande and Sarkozy each taking 28 percent in the first round on April 22, ahead of anti-immigrant campaigner Marine Le Pen at 16 percent, centrist Francois Bayrou with 13 percent, and anti-European Union, anti-free market Jean-Luc Melenchon at 11 percent. In the previous poll 10 days earlier, Hollande led Sarkozy 30 to 28 percent in the first round.

In the May 6 run-off between the top two, Hollande would beat Sarkozy by 54 to 46 percent, narrower than the 56 to 44 percent margin in the previous poll, and the closest margin in the six CSA surveys so far this year. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they are certain of whom they will vote for in the second round.

In a separate question, 49 percent disapproved and 48 percent approved of Sarkozy’s call to pull France out of Europe’s open borders pact if other member states don’t better control illegal immigration.

The poll surveyed 861 voters and no margin of error was given.

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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