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Sarkozy ahead in poll for first time

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10:37 CET+01:00

French President Nicolas Sarkozy would beat Socialist rival Francois Hollande in the first round of the presidential election in April, according to a survey published Tuesday, the first time the incumbent has been ahead in opinion polls.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy would beat Socialist rival Francois Hollande in the first round of the presidential election in April, according to a survey published Tuesday, the first time the incumbent has been ahead in opinion polls.

Sarkozy, who has been trailing Hollande for several months, would win 28.5 percent in the first round in April, against 27 percent for the Socialist candidate, the poll by Ifop found.

However, Hollande is still set to win the second round run-off in May with 54.5 percent of the vote against 45.5 percent for Sarkozy, according to the poll published in several French newspapers.

"It's a turning point... but a nuanced turning point," Frederic Dabi of Ifop told AFP.

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