France’s Sarkozy seen losing 2012 election: poll


French President Nicolas Sarkozy is battling Socialist Francois Hollande ahead of a two-round presidential election starting on Sunday, with opinion polls giving the challenger a double-digit lead for a May 6 runoff.

Sarkozy moved briefly into the lead in polls for the first round on April 22 following his handling of a shooting drama in southwestern France in March, but he has slipped back again in more recent polls and the runoff gap has widened.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, hard leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and centrist Francois Bayrou rank in third, fourth and fifth place for the April 22 first round between 10 candidates, Reuters reports.