December 5, 2013
APPROVAL RATING PLUMMETS TO JUST 26 PERCENTTuesday, October 29, 2013
Hollande most unpopular French president on record
PARIS — It’s a title, but not one to be proud of. François Hollande has become the most unpopular French president on record, an opinion poll showed yesterday.
The Socialist leader, beset by anger over tax hikes, unemployment and rows over the government’s immigration policy, is in turmoil. Hollande’s popularity has sunk to just 26 percent, the first time ever the BVA poll has seen a French president’s approval ratings fall below 30 percent.
The French president’s popularity had started sinking quite soon after he was elected in May 2012 but the survey now indicates his popularity is lower than that of any other president, at any time during their term in office, from the 32 years in which the BVA survey has been carried out.
The news underlines the severity of the task facing Hollande and his government as they seek to revive their popularity at a time when record high unemployment figures and wrangling over tax levels have clouded efforts to revitalise a sluggish economy.
The poll showed a near-unanimous unpopularity among right-wing voters: a whopping 97 percent have a bad opinion of Hollande, a level never reached by any president among supporters of other parties, even former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy, who deeply antagonised many left-wing voters.
While Hollande is dragging his Socialist party’s approval ratings down, the far-right National Front keeps progressing, with the two parties now scoring the same approval ratings.
Some 84 percent of those surveyed on October 24-25 believed government policy was not efficient and 74 percent said it was unfair.
Hollande has seen his popularity sink further after he was widely criticized for offering to allow a deported Roma teenager to return to France but without her family.
In a separate Harris Interactive poll on Thursday, four-fifths of French voters said they believed Hollande would not win the next presidential election in 2017.
The outgoing president traditionally represents his party in the next election and in past decades most — with the exception of Sarkozy — manage to win a second mandate.
Herald with Reuters