A cursory look at the results of the first round of the 2012 French presidential election, which took place on 22 April 2012, makes it clear that the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy will need a miracle to come out victorious.
Socialist challenger Francois Hollande beat Sarkozy in the first round and polls suggest that for Sarkozy to secure a second term in office, he would need 17.9 percent of National Front voters to move over to him.
However, National Front leader Le Pen has delivered a blow to Sarkozy's hopes of re-election by refusing to endorse him and telling her six million supporters to make their own choice at Sunday's ballot.
The far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has been described as the wild card of the campaign, gained around 11 percent of the votes in the first round. He is supporting Hollande in the final round and polls indicate that more than 80 percent of his supporters will follow him.
The Democratic Movement candidate François Bayrou has yet to adopt a clear position for the second round on May 6 run-off. According to the polls, a third of his supporters will vote in favor of Sarkozy but a similar number will support Hollande.
Since the first round, Sarkozy has done his utmost to attract the support of far-right voters, making immigration a major issue of his campaign. But polls suggest that Hollande is in good position and will win the run-off with a healthy 6 to 10 percent lead.
However, anything can happen before election day so there is still the possibility that Sarkozy could come up with some impressive last-minute tactics to secure a re-election. This would be a miracle because on paper, French citizens are mostly disappointed with him and they hope to see a new politician to take charge of the French government for the next five years.
Morteza Makki is a political analyst and an expert on Europe and Balkan issues based in Tehran.
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