French presidential candidates battle it out in television debate

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Francois Hollande battled it out in their only television debate though the incumbent failed to curb his opponent’s lead ahead of Sunday’s runoff.

    Hollande, currently ahead in opinion polls by six to ten points, came off as calm during the nearly three-hour debate on Wednesday while Sarkozy was more tense.

    According to political commentators, the debate simply reinforced voters’ opinions of the candidates as neither delivered a knockout blow.

    The latest polls suggest Hollande has a lead of seven percentage points.