PARIS French conservative ex-prime minister Francois Fillon will beat far right leader Marine Le Pen 64 percent to 36 percent if they meet in a runoff next May in the presidential election, a poll showed on Tuesday.
However, if independent Emmanuel Macron makes it to the runoff against poll favourite Fillon, the former economy minister would win 52 percent to 48 percent, the Ifop Fuducial poll for Paris Match showed.
The poll echoed the findings of other recent surveys showing Fillon losing momentum with his share of the vote in the first round falling to 24-25 percent from as much as 27.5 percent a month ago and depending on who runs for the Socialists.
Though he would still win in the runoff, a score at that level would put him behind Le Pen, who was seen getting as much as 26.5 percent of the first round vote.
Meanwhile, Macron would win 17-20 percent of the vote in the first round, according to the poll. However, he could count on getting some of the 5.5-7 percent of the votes that the poll attributed to centrist Francois Bayrou should he decide not to run. So far he has not said whether he would.
The poll, which had a margin of error of 1.3 percent, was conducted Jan. 3-5 and was based on a sample of 1,860 people registered to vote.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Balmforth)