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Francois Hollande most likely to win presidential election in France

23.04.2012  |  10:30

Socialist Francois Hollande is set to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of France's presidential election, four polls showed.

AP photo Socialist Francois Hollande is set to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of France's presidential election, four polls showed.Hollande's support ranges from 53 percent to 56 percent, while Sarkozy's backing is at 44 percent to 47 percent, the polls showed. The surveys were conducted after first round voting ended by the CSA, BVA, Ifop and Ipsos polling companies.The two candidates progressed to the final leg of the contest on May 6, with the Interior Ministry estimates late yesterday giving Hollande 27.1 percent and Sarkozy 26.7 percent of first round ballots. National Front candidate Marine Le Pen came in third with about 19.3 percent of the vote, says BusinessWeek. "This is an indication of widespread anxiety in France about the economic situation," said William Keylor, a professor at Boston University. "A message is being sent to the major candidates that something drastic has to be done." About 57 percent of Le Pen voters will back Sarkozy in the second round, while 23 percent will abstain and 20 percent will back Hollande, according to BVA's survey.

Among supporters of Left Front candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, 90 percent intend to follow their leader's advice and cast their ballots for Hollande in the second round, BVA said.  CSA queried 1,009 voters yesterday after the close of the first-round ballot, while BVA interviewed 802. Neither company provided a margin of error, according to Bloomberg. "Sarkozy is going to be torn between campaigning in the middle ground and campaigning on the right.

He'll have to reach out to the right between the rounds, so he'll lose the centre," said political scientist Stephane Rozes of the CAP think-tank.If Hollande wins, joining a small minority of left-wing governments in Europe, he has promised to renegotiate a European budget discipline treaty signed by Sarkozy. That could presage tension with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who made the pact a condition for further assistance to troubled euro zone states.The prospect of friction is causing some concern in financial markets, as is Hollande's focus on tax rises over austerity at a time when sluggish growth is threatening France's ability to meet deficit-cutting goals."Sarkozy's leadership abilities were instrumental in the euro zone's fight against debt and investors are obviously worried that an absence of this key figure may be detrimental to further progress," said Oh On-su, an analyst at Hyundai Securities, informs The Daily Star..



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