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Europe

New poll favors French far-right politician over Sarkozy

A new French poll has found that Marine Le Pen, of the far-right National Front, could have an edge over the incumbent President Nicholas Sarkozy in France's upcoming presidential elections.

Marine Le Pen, after her election as leader of the French far-right party National Front

Le Pen followed her father as leader of Front National

An opinion poll in France has found that right-wing politician Marine Le Pen could defeat President Nicholas Sarkozy in upcoming elections, Le Parisien reported Saturday.

The poll results, published in the Sunday edition of the French daily, showed the 42-year-old leader of the National Front party would receive 23 percent of the vote in the first of the two rounds of presidential elections due to occur in France next year.

Center-right Sarkozy would only receive 21 percent of the vote, according to the poll.

"This poll makes me believe that Nicolas Sarkozy will lose this presidential election," Le Pen said at a news conference in northern France.

Part of Le Pen's platform so far has included comparing Muslims in France to an occupying force. Meanwhile, Sarkozy has initiated a national debate on the role of Islam in France, a move that some feel is designed to neutralize Le Pen.

No margin of error was published for the poll, conducted between February 28 and March 3 with 1,618 people aged 18 and up.

France's next presidential elections are set for May 2012.

Author: Stuart Tiffen (dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Toma Tasovac

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