London: Carla Bruni is planning to have her first child with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011 to boost her husband's chances of clinching a second term the following year, a news report has claimed.
54-year-old Sarkozy has three children from two previous marriages, while his Italian-born former supermodel wife has one son from a previous relationship.
The French magazine Voici revealed that France's first couple had set 2011 for starting a family as a vote-winning 'personal event'. The French leader hopes that having a baby will boost his chances of winning the presidential election the following year, it was reported.
"The presidential couple are thought to have chosen to keep the 'pregnancy card' up their sleeve to ensure public sympathy ahead of the next presidential campaign in 2012," the glossy Voici said, quoting sources in the French National Assembly.
"Sources in the French parliament have confirmed to us that Sarkozy and Bruni are planning a baby for two years' time. The rumour has been circulating for several weeks," it said.
The 41-year-old first lady, in an interview in March, said she would consider adopting a child if it was not "biologically possible" to have one with her husband.
The pair were said to have come up with the new plan "some time ago" but became even more convinced that it was the right strategic choice since the "incredible public support" Sarkozy received after falling ill and collapsing while jogging last month, the Daily Telegraph said, based on the report in the French weekly.
A latest opinion poll published after his heath scare showed a 12 per cent surge in support for the French leader, with 53 per cent of the people indicating that Sarkozy makes "a good president", compared to 41 per cent in May.
The arrival of a presidential newborn so soon before the next election, in which Sarkozy is almost certain to run, could help him win vital votes against a Socialist rival, the magazine suggested.
Sarkozy married Carla on February 2, 2008 after a whirlwind romance following a meeting at a dinner party in Paris in November 2007.
The president has been flayed in the past for using his private life to promote his public image a strategy that backfired spectacularly when he separated from his second wife Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz in 2007 after the presidential
Sarkozy has sons Pierre, 24, and Jean, 22, from his first marriage to Marie-Dominique Culioli, whom he divorced in 1996. He has a 12-year-old son, Louis, from Cecilia.
Carla who has had previous relationships with rock stars Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton has an eight-year-old son, Aurelian, with philosophy professor Raphael Enthoven.
The Elysee Palace refused to comment immediately on the rumours.