Polls show voters prefer Socialists to Sarkozy - by landslide
If the French presidential election were held now, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy would suffer landslide defeats at the hands of the two likeliest Socialist Party candidates, according to a poll published Thursday in the weekly Paris Match, DPA reported.
If Sarkozy ran against International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, he would lose by a margin of 61 to 32 per cent, the poll found.
Surprisingly, almost one-third of partisans of Sarkozy's UMP party would cast their votes for Strauss-Kahn, the survey revealed. The IMF president is viewed as Sarkozy's most probable opponent for the 2012 presidential election.
Running against the head of the Socialist Party, Martine Aubry, Sarkozy would be defeated by "only" 54 to 40 per cent, with centrists and right-wing extremists voting against the president.
The survey, by the Ifop polling institute, was carried out July 8 and 9, in the thick of a party campaign funding scandal involving Labour Minister Eric Woerth.
On Monday, Sarkozy appeared on national television to defend Woerth and himself from allegations of accepting illegal donations from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Surveys taken after that appearance revealed that a sizable majority of French adults were not convinced by Sarkozy's explanations.