Ahead of Sunday’s French election euronews has been speaking to Gael Sliman, the director of France’s second-largest polling researchers, BVA Opinion.
Giovanni Maggi started by asking him if a television debate can really change the outcome of the election?
There have been televised debates for nearly forty years. They have never changed the outcome, or at least it has never been proven. All surveys conducted before and after the discussions have showed that there has been no change.
In what way have opinions been changing between the first and the second round?
The vast majority of voters of the extreme left, of Jean-Luc Melénchon, almost nine out of ten, are preparing to go for Francois Hollande in the second round. The far right-wing voters, who voted for Marine Le Pen, are much more divided. Less than six in ten are preparing to vote for Nicolas Sarkozy and around a fifth of them would be willing to vote for Francois Hollande.
What could be the effect of abstentions and undecided voters on the outcome?
There is a very significant amount of voters who are telling us they are ready to make their choice. As for abstentionists they have decided too. We’ve heard Marine Le Pen call for a vote to abstain in between the two rounds.
It is possible that if the voters follow her the defeat of Sarkozy would be greater than predicted at present. On the other hand if the National Front voters do get behind him at that moment then perhaps it will allow Nikolas Sarkozy to narrow the gap with Francois Hollande.