Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe is extending his lead over former President Nicolas Sarkozy in their battle for the 2017 presidential nomination of France’s Republican party, a poll showed.
Juppe is the preferred candidate of 39 percent of voters who identify as being on the right or center of the political spectrum, compared with 31 percent for Sarkozy, according to an Ifop poll published Sunday in Le Journal du Dimanche. That’s a lead of eight percentage points, up from six percentage points two months ago.
The survey is the latest to show Juppe’s lead widening in the vote that will be held in two rounds, on Nov. 20 and Nov. 27. Even so, the Ifop poll shows that Juppe’s support comes largely from voters who identify with centrist parties instead of from Republicans themselves. All voters are eligible to vote in the primary provided they sign a statement saying they believe in the values of the right and center and contribute 2 euros ($2.20) to the cost of the balloting.
The victor of the primary will go on to run in France’s 2017 presidential election, which will be held in two rounds in April and May.
Hollande Still Hoping
Hollande still has not dropped out of the running for the socialist party. The left looks to get crushed in both the preliminary rounds and the final round.
French president Francois Hollande and Jean-Luc Mélenchon rate to splinter the Left vote. The result rates to be a match-up between Marine le Pen and her National Front party, and the winner of the Republican match between Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé.
Polls show Sarkozy or Juppé would beat Le Pen in the second round. Le Pen matches best against Hollande but would only get 46% of the vote. The only candidates Hollande might beat are Le Pen and Sarkozy.
Plenty can happen between now and the 2017 election.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock