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French presidential candidates on the hustings

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French presidential candidates on the hustings


The official campaign for the French Presidency hasn’t started yet, but one wouldn’t know it.

Segolene Royal has been feted by her party in Paris.

“I know what I owe my party,” she told the cheering crowd. “I know what I owe the more militant among you.”

Then, unusually for a socialist meeting, they played the Marseillaise.

Royal may have risen in the latest poll but Nicolas Sarkozy remains the man to beat.

A survey for a French newspaper said he would win an election if it was held today.

But it also showed that he had dropped a few points and, with every vote precious, tonight he is concentrating on the youth ballot, addressing youngsters in the capital.

Francois Bayrou, lurking in the shadow of them both, appears to have lost a little ground too.

But he is successfully worrying both the candidates in front of him – as well as the one trailing in his wake.

The National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen insists Bayrou is a stalking horse, only running as a ploy to stop him suceeding.

But Le Pen insists he will be in the second-round run off, just as he was in 2002.

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