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Search for France's socialist presidential candidate

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Search for France's socialist presidential candidate


Lionel Jospin was not able to win the French presidency for the Socialists in 2002, but the party is confident it can turn things around in 2007.Currently led by Francois Hollande, the Socialist Party opens its annual three-day conference in Le Mans today.Behind the scenes debate on whether he has the best chance of getting into the Elysee Palace is expected to be fierce.

Former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius is also one of the top contenders, promising to heal divisions in the party since it lost power to the right, and since France rejected a draft European constitution.Also featuring high in the opinion polls is Ségolène Royal, the partner of Francois Hollande. Some in the party are calling for a new face and a new vision.They point to what happened at the 1971 party conference when the then relative unknown Francois Mitterand was chosen to be presidential candidate.The socialists are under pressure, with current polls indicating that six out of ten people do not believe the party can win the 2007 election.
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