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66% against Sarko presidential bid

Poll finds two-thirds of voters believe the former president's time has passed - but 60% of UMP voters support him

JUST a week after Nicolas Sarkozy made his political comeback as head of the UMP party, a new survey claims two-thirds of people do not want him to stand for French president in 2017.

The poll, conducted for Le Parisien, found 58 per cent of respondents had a bad opinion of the former president, and similar numbers believe his time has passed and that his return to politics is bad news.

Some 66 per cent said he should not stand for president. Among right-wing voters, about 60 per cent are happy for him to represent the UMP in the 2017 campaign.

While the Odoxa survey of 1,000 adults shows the public admire his energy (83 per cent) and courage (64 per cent), Sarkozy lost points compared with the last poll when it came to honesty, likeability and his ability to bring people together.

Political analyst Gaël Sliman, who worked on the study, said: "The new president of the UMP has a lot of work to do to win back his legitimacy."

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