News24

Polls show Sarkozy gaining on Hollande

2012-05-04 10:00

Paris - Two polls released on Friday showed President Nicolas Sarkozy trimming Socialist Francois Hollande's lead for France's presidential runoff vote, the latest surveys to show the incumbent gaining ground after Wednesday's televised debate.

A survey by pollster BVA showed Hollande taking 52.5% of the vote in Sunday's final round of the presidential election, down two points from late April, with Sarkozy taking 47.5%, a rise of two points.

Separately, TNS-Sofres showed Hollande's score edging down 1.5 points to 53.5% from last week, with Sarkozy rising to 46.5% from 45% previously.

A majority in the BVA survey still thought Hollande was most convincing in the televised debate, with 40% believing he gained the upper hand, against 31% who preferred the conservative Sarkozy.

Four surveys conducted since the face-off have now shown Sarkozy gaining ground, following similar results from Harris Interactive and CSA on Thursday.

A separate poll by OpinionWay carried out half before and half after the debate showed the Socialist frontrunner's lead narrowing to five points.

Despite Sarkozy's gains, Hollande still retains a comfortable lead for Sunday's vote, with an average of recent opinion polls putting him six points ahead.

The latest polls were also conducted before centrist Francois Bayrou's declaration on Thursday that he would not back Sarkozy in the second round, leaving his supporters to make up their own minds.

Sarkozy's best hope of winning the vote hinge on his gaining support from at least 80% of far-rightist Marine Le Pen's voters, and around half of Bayrou's. Bayrou said on Thursday he objected to Sarkozy's recent lurch to the right, and that he himself would vote for Hollande.

According to Friday's TNS-Sofres survey, 32% of those who voted Bayrou in the first round would vote for Sarkozy on Sunday while 37% would back Hollande. Meanwhile, 52% of Le Pen voters would choose Sarkozy in round two against 7% for Hollande, with a further 41% abstaining.