Sarkozy takes first-round poll lead after shootings

By REUTERS
March 22, 2012 07:08

 
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PARIS - The first opinion poll since a gunman shot dead four people at a Jewish school on Monday showed President Nicolas Sarkozy would narrowly beat his Socialist challenger in the first round of a presidential election next month.

Sarkozy and Francois Hollande suspended their campaigns after three children and a rabbi were shot dead at the school in Toulouse in southwest France, killings that followed the shooting of three soldiers earlier this month.

A CSA poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday showed Sarkozy would win 30 percent in the first round and Hollande 28 percent, whereas the two rivals had been neck-and-neck a week ago.

Despite Sarkozy's lead in the first round, the poll showed that Hollande was still ahead by eight percentage points in a second-round run-off on May 6, unchanged from a week ago.

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