Sarkozy trims Hollande's runoff lead after debate

PARIS Thu May 3, 2012 4:14pm EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - The first opinion poll conducted since Wednesday's televised election debate in France showed Socialist Francois Hollande's lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy narrowed by two points to six points, although most people found Hollande most convincing.

The poll by CSA gave Hollande 53 percent for Sunday's decisive runoff, down 1 point from his score on April 26 and compared to 47 percent for Sarkozy, a gain of 1 point.

The survey found 44 percent of respondents thought Hollande was most convincing versus 38 percent for Sarkozy.

The survey was the second to show Sarkozy inching towards his Socialist rival two days from the vote. An OpinionWay poll, conducted half before and half after the TV debate, gave Hollande his smallest margin yet of five points, with 52.5 percent to Sarkozy's 47.5 percent.

An average of other recent polls gives an 8 point margin.

(Reporting By Vicky Buffery; Editing by Catherine Bremer)

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