World News

Two-thirds of French against Sarkozy re-election bid

PARIS (Reuters) - Sixty-five percent of French people do not want President Nicolas Sarkozy to stand for re-election in 2012, a survey showed Friday, underlining continued discontent following dismal regional election results. Sarkozy’s center-right party was heavily beaten in regional elections last month and his approval ratings have fallen sharply as concern over the fragile state of the economy and disapproval of his restless governing style have grown.

Sarkozy said Monday he would decide “some time at the end of the summer” or “at the beginning of autumn” next year if he will stand for re-election.

However, 82 percent of those polled by BVA for Canal+ television said they expected Sarkozy to run. The survey also indicated that Prime Minister Francois Fillon would be best placed to stand for election if Sarkozy did not run.

Thirty-three percent of French people polled were in favor of Fillon running for election, pipping ex-prime ministers Dominique de Villepin and Alain Juppe at 31 percent and 21 percent respectively.

The survey, which was carried out by Internet from April 13-15, was based on the opinions of 1,036 people.

Reporting by Gerard Bon; Writing by Sophie Taylor; editing by Ralph Boulton