Most French voters would like to see the opposition Socialist party win next year's presidential vote, a poll showed on Wednesday, dampening a summer revival by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The survey by pollster IFOP for weekly magazine Paris Match showed that 56 percent of voters were gunning for the left in April's election.

Sarkozy's popularity hit a 12-month high in early September, with 72 percent of those questioned saying he was defending French interests well abroad.

But the IFOP poll showed that only 38 percent of respondents were ready to vote for the right.

Francois Hollande, the poll-favourite to win the Socialist ticket at October's primaries, held a commanding lead with the IFOP survey putting him on 60 percent, well ahead of his main rival Martine Aubry on 35 percent.

The poll of 967 people was conducted between September 8-9.