CHARTRES, France Jobs and the integrity of politicians emerged as the main concerns of voters in a Reuters poll of 100 people in the bellwether city of Chartres ahead of France's presidential election.
Reuters travelled to the white-collar city of 40,000 people that is home to some of the world's leading cosmetic makers and has voted in line with the final results in the last four presidential polls.
The survey found that more than half of respondents remained undecided on how they would vote. One in four respondents said jobs was their main concern, while nearly one in five gave political integrity as their number one worry.
For a graphic on the Reuters poll: tmsnrt.rs/2kras5j
For a photo essay: reut.rs/2k3TE0J
The poll was conducted at the height of a fake jobs scandal embroiling conservative challenger Francois Fillon, a debacle that has underlined voters' growing disquiet towards the political elite.
Over the course of a day in the first week of February, a team of Reuters reporters asked passersby in Chartres' city centre to share in one word their single biggest concern ahead of the two-round April 23 and May 7 vote.
The methodology was not to offer a list of issues but rather to give each person a blank sheet on which to write their single biggest concern. They were then asked their voting intention and how they voted in the last election.
The full results were as follows:
EMPLOYMENT (includes unemployment, youth employment, job security): 25
INTEGRITY (includes corruption, honesty, confidence): 19
PURCHASING POWER (includes economy/economic growth): 10
SOCIAL WELFARE (includes health, retirement): 7
SECURITY (includes terrorism): 7
INTEGRATION (includes discrimination): 2
OTHER (includes peace, uncertainty, youth, solidarity, hope, behaviour, social cohesion, public sector): 12
(Writing By Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Richard Lough)