Benedict Brogan: Sarkozy's miracle is nowhere to be seen
NICHOLAS Sarkozy needed a miracle last night to head off a defeat that looks increasingly inevitable. A marathon, at times violent debate with Francois Hollande was his chance to knock the challenger off his increasingly confident stride. But despite some brutal exchanges, he failed to produce a killer blow.
Twenty million people were expected to tune in for a contest that lasted nearly three hours and was broadcast on all networks. It was a real debate, the presenters reduced to mute timekeepers as the candidates knocked spots off each other.
There was no quarter given. Mr Sarkozy called his opponent a liar and suggested he should have known about fellow socialist Dominique Strauss Kahn’s varied sex life; Mr Hollande described him as arrogant and tried to smear him back by raising a corruption scandal.