French presidential candidate Royal's ex-adviser leaves Socialist Party

A former adviser to French presidential candidate Segolene Royal quit the Socialist Party on Wednesday, complaining that her campaign was badly organized and that no one had listened to his concerns.

Eric Besson had quit days earlier as Royal's economics adviser. On Wednesday, the lawmaker announced that he was leaving the Socialist Party altogether.

"For three months, I have seen that the campaign is going in the wrong direction, that it's badly organized and it's going badly," Besson told Europe-1 radio.

Royal, 53, has been trying to rebound after a slip in the polls that left conservative Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy the clear leader in the race. The first-round vote is scheduled for April 22, and the runoff is May 6.

A major appearance on television Monday, where Royal answered questions from ordinary French people, appeared to give her an instant boost and put her back on track, reports AP.

A poll published in Le Parisien newspaper suggested she would take 49 percent of the final-round vote, compared to 51 percent for Sarkozy. The CSA polling agency surveyed 884 registered voters the day after her television appearance. No margin of error was provided.

On Thursday, Royal is expected to announce a shake up of her team.

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