Monday, February 26, 2007

Even steven for SegoSarko

Psychologically today was an important day for the Segolene Royal campaign, with an LH2 poll showing that Royal would tie Nicolas Sarkozy 50% - 50% in the second round of voting. Royal had been several points ahead of Sarkozy until mid-January, when Sarkozy's strong party nomination and a series of Royal gaffes sent her tumbling to an eventual 10 point deficit.

This quick rebound since last Monday's prime time TV appearance and the reorganization of her campaign on Thursday could once again propel Segolene Royal into the running. However, polls continue to show that UDF candidate Francois Bayrou, who would defeat either Royal or Sarkozy in the second round, is still at a strong 17% in the first round. A crucial stumble by either Royal or Sarkozy within the next 50-odd days could open the door for a possible Bayrou surge. But if Bayrou is worrying the minds of the two major candidates, he is certainly reassuring many French, who do not want to see Jean-Marie Le Pen once again make it into the second round.

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