April 22, 2007 / 4:24 PM / 11 years ago

Belgian media say Sarkozy and Royal in French run-off

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Segolene Royal are set to contest a French presidential run-off after topping the first-round poll on Sunday, Belgian media said.

RTBF public television and RTL private television quoted first projections based on counted votes, which by law cannot be published in France until the last polling stations close at 1800 GMT (7 p.m. British time), as showing Sarkozy and Royal would go through.

Sarkozy was ahead on the first ballot, the reports said, but the polls differed on the margin.

RTBF said the right-wing former interior minister had just over 29 percent of the vote while the first woman with a serious chance of becoming president had a little more than 26 percent.

RTL put them on 30.8 percent and 25.8 percent respectively.

Both stations put centrist Francois Bayrou in third place with about 18 percent, and extreme-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen in fourth with about 11 percent.

Neither French polling companies nor the authorities could comment on the Belgian media reports. Polling stations in Paris and other big cities close at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. British time).

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