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French Socialists fear election defeat

March 13, 2007 at 4:36 PM

PARIS, March 13 (UPI) -- The leader of France's Socialist party says he fears the party's presidential contender will lose in the first round of elections.

Francois Hollande said Monday he fears presidential candidate Segolene Royal -- who is also the mother of his children -- will not make it past the first round of elections in April, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

Hollande's remarks follow recent polls showing support for Francois Bayrou, the presidential candidate from the centrist UDF party, catching up with Royal.

"I've considered for a long time the prospect of another April 21st," Hollande said, referring to the party's crushing defeat in the previous presidential election.

The recent polls put Nicolas Sarkozy of the ruling centre-right UMP party in the lead with 27 percent support, Royal in second with 25.5 percent and Bayrou gaining with 23 percent.

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