In a direct matchup with François Hollande, the new Presidential candidate of the French Socialist Party, current President Nicolas Sarkozy only gets 38 percent against Hollande’s 62 percent.
France employs a two-round Presidential contest, in which the electorate first choses their preferred candidate among the whole field, and if no one candidate gets a majority, then the top two voter getters race each other in a run-off. Hollande received support from 35 percent of voters in a trial heat of the whole Presidential field, with Sarkozy second with 25.
From The Guardian:
“The latest poll showed Hollande, criticised as being ‘soft left’, was picking up support in the crucial centre ground of French politics. Nearly 65% of those quizzed by CSA said Hollande’s presidential programme was ‘more to the centre left’, while only 19% believed he was ‘really left’.”
The the first round of the French Presidential is scheduled for April 22nd, 2012, and the second round would be May 6th if necessary.