A week after my contrarian claim that Sarkozy might get reelected despite opinion polls showing François Hollande handily defeating him, Le Monde published the first opinion poll that shows him overtake Hollande in the first round.
Previously, it was a statistical dead-heat of about two percentage point in Hollande's favor and now it is the other way around (28.5% vs 27%).
The poll still found that Hollande would win in the run off elections but "by a narrower margin of nine points, down from 13 points a fortnight ago ."
Credit is given to his anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric.
I still maintain that he is moving to get the white working classes behind him and now we see that some of these who were tempted to vote for the extreme right wing candidate Marine Le Pen are moving back to Sarkozy as a more palatable and viable candidate.
The poll came after Sarkozy had an uncharacteristically successful appearance on France 2 last Tuesday. To me, that marked a shift in the way the media handles him. In fact, there has been a subtle but noticeable change in the way television channels reflect and package his candidacy.
If the trend continues (and I believe it will) you can expect the run off election to yield a surprising result.