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France

Top French paper calls a halt to polls during 2017 presidential race

media Donald Trump defied the polls to become president of the US Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

One of France's top-selling papers has decided not to commission any more opinion polls on politics during the campaign for the presidential election to be held in April and May this year.

Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui, the highest-circulation newspaper in the Paris region, has declared a "pause" in commissioning opinion polls so as to concentrate on on-the-ground reporting during this year's presidential campaign, editorial chief Stéphane Albouy said on Tuesday.

"We have been thinking about it for some times, notably because of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump," he told France Inter radio.

François Fillon also won the mainstream-right presidential nomination after trailing behind former president Nicolas Sarkozy and former prime minister Alain Juppé until a week before the primary's first round.

"It's not a matter of distrusting the pollsters but a different way of working that we want to test for the rest of the campaign," he said, pointing out that the news media have been accused of being "cut off from reality".

But the daily will still quote opinion polls during the campaign.

Although Le Parisien spends tens of thousands of euro a year on polls, Albouy insisted that the move is not an economy measure, pointing out that reporting assignments are more expensive and saying they "force us to be more demanding".

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