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Poll suggests Venezuela's Chavez in 7-point referendum lead

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attends a campaign rally in the Andean state of Tachira November 28, 2007. Chavez said he expects to win Sunday's constitutional reform referendum on scrapping term limits by 10 percentage points, but said his opponents will cry fraud and promote violence if they lose. REUTERS/Ho-Miraflores Palace

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has at least a seven-point lead for a referendum on Sunday on reforms that would allow him to run for re-election indefinitely, according to a poll distributed on Wednesday.

The poll by Consultores 30.11, which has worked for the government and accurately predicted a vote result last year, showed Chavez moving ahead compared to most surveys in recent days that put him at best in a statistical tie.

The survey of 1,600 voters taken November 21-27 said 56 percent of likely voters appeared set to vote for Chavez’s constitutional overhaul and 40 percent set to vote against.

But when the survey measured how undecided voters would cast their ballots and also took into account that others, who do not yet plan to vote, could decide to participate, the difference narrowed to as little as seven points.

Chavez’s proposal, which must be approved in a referendum, has popular sweeteners such as shortening the workday. But measures over expanding his powers are widely rejected.

The Consultores 30.11 poll had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.