The IPSOS survey shows an overall score for the leader of 35 percent. This is “an important improvement” said Frédéric Dabi, the company’s director of polling.
The improvement is believed largely to be down to a campaign of “re-presidentialisation” of the head of state. Simply put, this means a more dignified, presidential-style approach, rather than the hyper-energetic president who likes to get involved in every issue.
Uncharacteristically, Sarkozy has stayed above the fray in recent domestic matters such as the argument over Eva Joly’s claim that the military parade on July 14th should be abandoned or the allegations of attempted rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Dabi characterised this approach as “more sober, more rarefied and more unifying.” He has also been reluctant to comment on his wife Carla’s pregnancy and has stayed away from contentious topics such as the removal of warning signs for speed cameras.
Instead, the president has focused more on international affairs, such as the eurozone crisis and the recent deaths of soldiers in Afghanistan. Dabi also noted a shift in speaking tone that is “much slower”.
Other pollsters agree with the analysis. Jean-Daniel Levy, head of polling at Harris Interactive, told 20 Minutes that the new approach is more like that of former presidents. “He is a more consensual figure, bringing people together and taking the messages of France beyond our own borders.”
Even the president’s artistic tastes seem to have been transformed. Libération newspaper reports that the president has been wowing guests with his newly-found knowledge of classic films and writers. One guest told the newspaper “it’s like he’s on a revision programme, going through each author.”
But not everyone seems to be convinced. Jérôme Garcin, presenter of a French cultural TV programme, told the newspaper, “I am very circumspect about this. In cultural matters, I don’t buy into this type of metamorphosis. You can’t sincerely go from Saving Private Ryan to (Danish director) Dreyer.”