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Hollande 'most unpopular president in 30 years'

Ben McPartland · 1 Mar 2013, 12:55

Published: 01 Mar 2013 12:55 GMT+01:00

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Hollande’s boost in opinion polls seen during the early days of France’s intervention in Mali appears to have well and truly gone flat.

A new poll by French polling agency TNS Sofres for the right leaning Le Figaro newspaper revealed the Socialist Party president only has the confidence of 30 percent of the population – a drop of five percent since January.

That represents the lowest percentage for a president in the tenth month of office since 1981 when fellow Socialist François Mitterrand was in power.

According to the survey the fall in popularity of Hollande is dramatic with 66 percent of the population now saying they have no confidence in their leader - an increase of five percent since last month.

According to the Emmanuel Riviere, department director of TNS Sofres, the slump can be put down to France’s ongoing economic woes.

After a lull during the Mali war “the current social and economic problems are back at the top of the news,” he said. Rising unemployment and on-going austerity were factors “feeding the dissatisfaction of voters,” Riviere added.

Other polls, however, do not suggest such a dramatic slump in the confidence French people have with Hollande although they reflect a similar trend.

According to sources quoted by Europe1 radio Hollande will try and get out and about more in a bid to stem his flagging popularity.

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The sources claim he will change the style of his excursions across France so that he stays in a place over night and tries to meet more of the electorate.

“There will be no big speeches, no grand themes, just simple and frequent visits,” François Rebsamen, head of the Socialists in the Senate told Les Echos newspaper.

Around 1000 people from across the country took part in the TNS Sofres poll, which was carried out on February 24/25.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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