Sarkozy edges up in election polls

2012-02-28 16:03

Paris - French President Nicolas Sarkozy moved closer to Socialist election frontrunner Francois Hollande in an opinion poll published on Tuesday, two weeks after he formally entered the race for April's presidential election.

Several surveys of voters' intentions for the first-round ballot on April 22 show Sarkozy, who has battled bleak popularity ratings and economic gloom, gaining on Hollande since he began campaigning in mid-February. The latest showed him halving Hollande's lead to 3.5 percentage points within a week.

The challenger, who on Monday proposed a new 75% income tax on millionaires, remains far ahead of Sarkozy in polls of how people would vote in the likely head-to-head runoff between the two men on May 6. But Sarkozy's camp hopes a strong first-round showing can change minds before the decisive day.

Tuesday's survey by Ifop/Logica Business Consulting showed Sarkozy narrowed the first-round gap to 3.5 points from 7 a week earlier, with 27% support to Hollande's 31.5%, versus 25 and 32% in the pollster's previous sounding.

The same survey, carried out on February 24-25, showed Hollande 16 points ahead of Sarkozy in a runoff, at 58% to 42%. But that, too, marked a slip of one point for the Socialist and a one-point gain for Sarkozy, a conservative.

The poll of 959 people found that 22% of respondents could still change their minds for the second round, which will be held if no candidate wins an absolute majority in the first.

Fairer economy

The election is a clear two-horse race, with Sarkozy selling himself as a strong pair of hands to pull France through economic turmoil with structural reforms, whereas Hollande, who is more widely liked but lacks ministerial experience, would hike wealth taxes to invest in education and jobs.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Francois Bayrou are both more than 10 points behind in polls for the first round. Their supporters will be key for round two. Several other candidates from minor parties will also take part.

On Monday evening, Hollande told a television talk show that annual incomes above €1m would be taxed at 75% if he wins, as he pounded home the idea of a fairer economy for the lower and middle classes. The current top rate of income tax, paid by many, is 45%.

A centre-leftist who must nonetheless rally left-wingers of all stripes behind him, Hollande has taken aim at bankers in a campaign marked by joblessness and anxiety over purchasing power. His plans to raise taxes on companies and the rich have sparked talk of an exodus from France.

Sarkozy's Finance Minister Francois Baroin slammed the idea of a 75% income tax rate in a debate with Hollande's campaign chief Pierre Moscovici, who said he stood by the plan.

On the defensive

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told RTL radio the proposal showed Hollande was "scrambling to catch up" with Sarkozy's campaign rhythm. "He tries a new tax every day," he said.

Hollande, who laid out his programme a month ago, decried Sarkozy's tactic of trying to put him on the defensive by unveiling a new campaign idea each week. "The election is not a game, it's about being coherent," he told Monday's TV show.

A separate daily survey which Ifop/Fiducial carries out using a constant sample of voters, has also recorded a steady decline in Hollande's lead over the last week. Its Monday poll put Hollande and Sarkozy on 28 and 27% respectively for round one, and 55.5 and 44.5% for round two.

Read more on:    francois hollande  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  france

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA ad scores nearly half a millions hits on YouTube

The DA's "Ayisafani" (It's not the same) election TV advert - originally pulled off the air by the SABC - has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.