The publication of polls is banned by law in France during the last week of the campaign, and the last two polls, distributed by the newspaper Le Figaro and the magazine Paris-Match, were mainly taken before a long television interview March 2 in which Socialist President Francois Mitterrand made his case for a Parliament that would support him.
The 30% figure is considered significant because it could conceivably prevent the coalition of two conservative parties from controlling a majority of the seats, thus giving Mitterrand a good deal of room in his selection of a premier. Instead of feeling forced to choose [Jacques Chirac], the leader of the largest conservative party, Mitterrand, with a 30% Socialist vote, could try to choose a more neutral premier.
Mitterrand, who would presumably lose a good deal of power if forced to name an opposition premier, has campaigned extensively for Socialist votes. This has helped his personal standing, but it is not clear whether it has helped the Socialist Party very much.