Socialist candidate Ségolene Royal scored points for passion and toughness, and conservative Nicolas Sarkozy for policy brilliance in the French presidential debate last night. Commentators said Royal, who was trailing in opinion polls, helped close the gap by seizing the offensive, turning the tables on the notoriously combative Sarkozy.
Royal accused Sarkozy of tough talk but a flailing lack of action as interior minister, calling it "the height of political immorality." Sarkozy countered that the socialists’ 35-hour work week was a “catastrophe for France." With the runoff election scheduled for Sunday, the debate was watched by more than 20 million viewers—an audience rivaled only by World Cup matches.