Sarkozy increases lead after debate

Socialist candidate Segolene Royal has "mountain to climb", analysts say.

    Royal, left, lost ground to Sarkozy
    after Wednesday's debate [AFP]

    Mountain to climb

     
    Sarkozy continuing his favourite themes of security and pride in being French.
     
    "I want to be able to talk about the nation without being called a nationalist," Sarkozy told a rally in the southern city of Montpellier.
     
    Your Views

    "It will be worrying times for France if Sarkozy wins the presidency"

    Be Humble, UK

    Send us your views

    "I want to be able to talk about authority without being called an authoritarian."
     
    Latest polls showed as many as 88 per cent of voters have made up their minds before the deciding ballot.
     
    Commentators think Royal has a mountain to climb in catching up with Sarkozy.
     
     "To get back to his level, Segolene Royal would have had to achieve the impossible," conservative daily Le Figaro said.
     
    "But we're a long way from that."
     

    Seeking centrist vote

     
    But socialists said polls were inaccurate, while many newspapers judged Wednesday's two-hour debate as a draw.
     
    "Each camp will celebrate its champion and deride the adversary," the daily Le Parisien newspaper said.
     
    The debate, viewed by more than 20 million people, was seen as being influential in winning over the nearly seven million voters who had backed centrist Francois Bayrou in the first round on April 22.
     
    The Ipsos/Dell poll found Bayrou supporters were splitting equally between Sarkozy and Royal.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.