• France's news in English

Hollande's popularity finally improves: new poll

Dan MacGuill · 14 Jun 2013, 12:25

Published: 14 Jun 2013 12:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

After more than 18 months of almost uninterrupted decline, Hollande’s image with the French people has finally seen some improvement.

“If you leave out ‘the Mali bump,’ [a brief rise in popularity in January after France’s military intervention in the west African state], the chief of state has experienced  a brutal decline on some criteria, between September 2012 and April 2013,” said the authors of the BVA survey.

“That erosion has stopped,” they added.

Comparing the survey results from May and April, the president scored slight increases on every criterion of judgment, though a majority still view him unfavourably.

His areas of greatest improvement in the eyes of the French people were in his ‘dynamism,’ and his ‘explanation of his actions.’

Some 37 percent found Hollande “competent”, up from 36 percent in April and 34 percent said he was “capable of making the decision before him,” up from 33 percent.

Although only 30 percent felt he “explains his actions well,” this was a three-point jump from April.

Some 29 percent saw Hollande as “a uniter,” up from 27 percent, while 22 percent viewed him as “dynamic,” up from just 19 percent the previous month.

Since his election last May 6th, Hollande's approval rating has fallen faster and further than any other president's since the founding of France's Fifth Republic in 1958.


The president's key problem, analysts have said, is that a growing number of French voters simply do not believe he will be able to meet his promise of turning the economy around.

After stagnating in 2012, the French economy moved into recession this year, with the International Monetary Fund predicting a contraction of 0.1 percent.

Unemployment has meanwhile grown for 24 consecutive, with the number of jobseekers surging to more than 3.2 million in March, beating a record set in 1997.

Story continues below…

French industry has been particularly hard hit, with the symbolic closing of two blast furnaces at a steel plant in the northeastern town of Florange and thousands of job cuts at industry leaders like carmakers PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault.

Hollande's government has also struggled with two major crises – the tax-fraud scandal involving ex-minister Jerome Cahuzac and a deeply divisive debate on gay marriage that saw widespread protests.

Cahuzac – once the minister responsible for tackling tax evasion – was charged in April with tax fraud after admitting to having an undeclared Swiss bank account and repeatedly lying about it.

The scandal struck at Hollande's core promise of running a clean government, and his efforts to respond, including by requiring all ministers to declare their assets, seemed to have had little effect on public opinion.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available