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Bayrou Reshapes French Presidential Race

The French presidential election is no longer the simple two-horse race that political pundits had predicted, as a third candidate, Francois Bayrou, has shot up in the polls.

Bayrou, who calls himself a centrist, is running just behind the Conservative and Socialist candidates.

Observers say many French voters are rejecting the front-runners; if Bayrou can beat one of them April 22, polls show he may well defeat the other in the second round of voting to become the next president of France.

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Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in 2004 as a freelance journalist, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy. Since then, she has steadily worked her way to becoming an integral part of the NPR Europe reporting team.
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