April 21 - Polling shows Francois Hollande with a comfortable lead over Nicolas Sarkozy on the eve of France's presidential election. Deborah Gembara reports.
Polls in France suggest voters could turn their backs on Nicolas Sarkozy when they cast ballots in the first round of the presidential election. Sarkozy has been a striking figure on the international stage for five years, but at home he is seen as too close to the rich. Record high unemployment and economic woes under his leadership have given socialist candidate Francois Hollande an advantage. Still some like Paul Taylor, Reuters Euoropean Affairs Editor says not to count Sarkozy out. SOUNDBITE: PAUL TAYLOR, REUTERS EUROPEAN AFFAIRS EDITOR SAYING: "Nicolas Sarkozy believes that once he and Francois Hollande are alone in the ring as it were, in the second round, however far he may appear to be behind on points, he can still give a knock-out punch. And so that is what he is going to be going for. There is a television debate which he could be decisive, it is certainly one of his two best hopes. His other hope, the other possible rabbit he could pull out of his hat, would be an alliance with the centrist Francois Bayrou, seen as getting about 10 percent of the vote on Sunday. Bayrou's supporters are split almost evenly between left and right, according to opinion polls, so if Sarkozy can win them over while at the same time pulling back some of the votes from the far right, from Marine Le Pen, then he has a fighting chance of upsetting the books and proving all the polls wrong." Some in France are so disenchanted with the whole political system --- they say they're not voting at all. These demonstators say they're doubtfulk any of the candidates can do much to address the country's most pressing problems. Polls open at 6am on Sunday. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.