Polls see first-round win for Argentine first lady

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BUENOS AIRES, Oct 26 (Reuters) Argentine first lady and Sen. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will win Sunday's presidential election without the need for a runoff, according to nine polls published in newspapers today.

Nine of 10 polls showed Fernandez winning in the first round of voting. To do so, candidates must win more than 45 per cent of the vote, or more than 40 percent with a 10 percentage point advantage over the closest rival.

Longtime legislator Elisa Carrio gained ground in the waning days of the campaign, but with the polls showing between 17 per cent and 23.5 percent support, she is expected to finish well behind Fernandez.

Former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna is seen in third place with 10 per cent to 19 per cent, said the polls, the final surveys conducted before the ballot. All three candidates are center-left.

Fernandez, who is expected to continue the center-left policies of her popular husband, President Nestor Kirchner, will be the Argentina's first woman elected president if she wins.

The polls published by daily newspapers La Nacion and Clarin show her with support of between 39.5 per cent and 49.4per cent.

REUTERS SS AS1930

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