May 4 - Pollsters forecast a victory for Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in this weekend's election as a Belgian newspaper says it will publish early results. Sunita Rappai reports.
Polling stations in France prepare for Sunday's presidential runoff between Socialist candidate Francois Hollande and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Polls widely predict Hollande will win and Sarkozy's position has been made even harder following an announcement by centrist candidate Francois Bayrou that he will be voting for Hollande. Bayrou, who has some three million supporters, accused Sarkozy of lurching to the right to seduce far right voters. French pollster Frederic Dabi says Sarkozy now faces an uphill struggle. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FREDERIC DABI, TALKING ABOUT FORMER CENTRIST CANDIDATE FRANCOIS BAYROU'S CALL TO VOTE FOR HOLLANDE, SAYING: "To be able to win on Sunday he would need to get 60 to 70 percent of Bayrou's voters and also 60 to 70 percent of Marine Le Pen voters, so really it makes his job much harder." Meanwhile Belgian's main French-speaking newspaper Le Soir is threatening to steal a march on its French rivals by publishing the election results early. They say they will publish as soon as they have reliable numbers, unlike the French media which will have to wait for the official results. Sunita Rappai, Reuters