Sarkozy closes gap on rival as French poll nears


French President Nicolas Sarkozy has closed the gap in voting intentions on his opposition Socialist rival Francois Hollande just four months before their election face-off, a new poll showed Sunday. The year’s first poll by the Ifop institute for the Journal du Dimanche had Hollande beating Sarkozy by just two points in the first round of voting on April 22, at 29 percent to 26.
\It forecast Hollande would then go on to win by 54 percent to 46 in the May 6 head-to-head run-off — the closest margin between the two favourites in many months and two points closer than in the last Ifop poll in December.
Sarkozy’s supporters have begun privately boasting that the momentum in the race now favours Sarkozy, who has been slowly building support while his once dominant rival’s campaign got off to a lacklustre start.