According to the Opinion Polls François Hollande the Socialist has a lead of about 6 percentage points against outgoing President Sarkozy, the scores being approximately 32% vs 26%.
To win votes Hollande repeatedly says he will "Tax the Rich" who earn more than one million euros a year. This is a vote winner but will not win much tax for the treasury. What right wing taxpayers really fear is what the Socialists will really do if Hollande is elected. The so called "Elephants", the real heavyweights of the Party, are almost absent from debates at present but will be very active decision makers if Hollande wins.
President Sarkozy has been very active in the recent Greek crisis and the Bankers' problems three years ago. The result is that he is criticised repeatedly for not having kept promises he made before becoming President. This is his weak point, but also perhaps the results of the Greek crisis which is not yet really finished.
The extreme left which is credited with 10% of the votes, will solidly back Hollande if, as expected, he is one of the first two candidates after the First round on April 22. Sarkozy on the other hand is trying to move closer to the National Front, the extreme right, which is credited with 17.5% of the votes.
The democrats led by Bayrou (11%) say they will not promise their votes to anyone in the second round of voting. However they and the National Front both wish that election rules be changed so that smaller parties can be represented in Parliament. Sarkozy would probably envisage making this possible by introducing a number of seats allocated on a proportional voting basis.
On March 20 we will know how many candidates have the 500 sponsors in order to take part officially in the first round of voting.