FILE PHOTO: French politician and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveils his election platform to the media in Paris, France, January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
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Former Prime Minister Manuel Valls is favorite to represent the Socialists in the French presidential election, an opinion poll showed Thursday, an outcome surveys show would offer the best chance of victory for the beleaguered party and its allies. Valls is seen coming top in the Jan. 22 first round vote of the primaries of the French left with 43 percent, ahead of second-placed Arnaud Montebourg on 25 percent, and third-placed Benoit Hamon on 22 percent, the poll by Harris Interactive for France Televisions showed.Polls in general consistently see a likely second-round head-to-head between Fillon and National Front leader Marine Le Pen, with the 62-year-old Fillon winning by a comfortable margin.Polls have consistently put Valls in a distant fifth place and eliminated in the April 23 first round of the election.In front of Valls in the main election polls, aside from Fillon and Le Pen, are two people who have to some degree stolen the Socialist party's clothes.
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