France 2012: Tonight tv debate between Sarkozy and Hollande

Great expectations for clash ahead of next Sunday's ballot

02 May, 17:04

(ANSAmed) - PARIS, MAY 2 - People in France are looking out to the television debate that will be broadcast live this evening at 9 pm on two national channels, the private TF1 and the public France 2. The two protagonists are France's socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande, who has the lead after the first round of the presidential elections, and outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy, ahead of this Sunday's second ballot.

The debate will last two and a half hours and will be coordinated by journalists Laurence Ferrari and David Pujadas.

Direction is in the hands of Jerome Revon (who also directed the broadcast of the wedding between Albert of Monaco and Charlene).

The transmission is expected to open with a discussion on economic issues (growth, employment), followed by social questions (like security, healthcare, immigration, education) and foreign policies. The debate is ''the moment of truth'' for Sarkozy and could play a crucial role in the election. Hollande, reassured by the polls that indicate he will win the second round of the presidential election, said he is ''ready'' to discuss all prepared issues, adding that he wants a ''dignified'' and ''respectful'' debate. According to Frederic Dabi, director of the Ifop Institute, "television duels have never made an impact on public opinion:'' the preferences recorded before and after television debates have always been more or less the same.(ANSAmed).

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