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Thursday, January 19, 2012 6:32 PM

Le Pen Inches Closer to Bumping Off Sarkozy in First Round of French Elections; Interesting Crossover Vote Opportunity for Hollande Supporters to Dump Sarkozy

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Latest polls show French President Sarkozy is losing ground to right-wing anti-euro candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round of the France presidential election. Via Google translate, please consider Le Pen and Bayrou Back

François Hollande is still leading the voting intentions of a presidential first round to 28%, unchanged from January 6, according to a poll Ifop-Fiducial. Nicolas Sarkozy, who is still not officially a candidate, lost two points to 24%. Marine Le Pen gains 1 point to 20% and Francois Bayrou 12.5%.

Another survey (Ipsos-Logica Business) has the results Holland 29%, 23% to Sarkozy, Le Pen is 18% and 14% Bayrou.

The Socialist candidate Francois Hollande is still ahead of the vote in a presidential first round to 28%, unchanged from January 6, ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy to 24% (-2%) and Marine Le Pen 20% (+1%), according to a survey conducted for Ifop-Fiducial.

If the second round was held Sunday, François Hollande would win by 57% (+3) against 43% (-3) for Nicolas Sarkozy, thus widening the gap.

Another survey of opinions Ipsos-Logica Business, carried out for France Televisions, Radio France and Le Monde, gives the same quarter of head. François Hollande arrives again at the top of the vote of a presidential first round to 29% (-3), Nicolas Sarkozy at 23% (-2.5), Marine Le Pen 18% (+1) Francois Bayrou and 14 % (+7).

In the second round, Francois Hollande would win by 59% (-1) against 41% to Nicolas Sarkozy (+1).
Those surveys were conducted January 11 to 13 - when the Standard & Poor's withdrew to France's triple A rating.

French far-right threatens to upset Sarkozy's poll hopes

Reuters has a slightly different set of numbers but with the same general theme in its report French far-right threatens to upset Sarkozy's poll hopes.
French leader Nicolas Sarkozy faces a battle to avoid a shock first round exit in April presidential elections, a poll showed on Thursday, after far-right candidate Marine Le Pen closed to within two points of the incumbent.

A daily rolling poll of voting intentions conducted by Ifop for Paris Match showed Marine Le Pen on 21 percent, up one point and within striking distance of the conservative head of state.

The poll was the latest to confirm that Sarkozy is under pressure from Le Pen ahead of the April 22 first round, and raises the possibility of a repeat of the 2002 upset, when her father Jean-Marie Le Pen knocked out the mainstream Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin.

That result traumatised France, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in protest marches against the rise of the far-right. And it ensured mainstream conservative Jacques Chirac won a crushing majority in the run-off ballot of more than 80 percent.

Marine Le Pen, who replaced her father at the head of the National Front last year, has sought to broaden the appeal of the party beyond its traditional anti-immigrant constituency to attract a younger generation of voters.

Her anti-euro and protectionist stance has struck a chord with voters disillusioned by economic hardship since the global economic crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and the dragging euro zone debt crisis.

A recent poll showed some 30 percent of French people agreed with Le Pen's ideas.
Crossover Vote Opportunity to Dump Sarkozy

Reuters did not give the date of the poll showing Sarkozy's lead over Le Pen shrunk to a mere two points. It did say "Thursday" which I interpret to mean today. 

Interestingly, anyone who wants Hollande to win can crossover and vote for Le Pen in the first round, just to get Sarkozy off the ballot. Hollande would likely trounce Le Pen.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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