Former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, in an emotional return to front-line politics, sent Royal's poll ratings on a sharp downfall by raising questions about her stature and credibility, the Independent reported.
The former minister and president of the Poitou-Charente region remains determined to be the first woman to lead a political party into a French presidential election, the newspaper said.
Although many voters are suspicious of Royal's background, the Independent said she could likely be positioned to defeat the center-right next spring, despite the drop resulting from Jospin's return.
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