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Hollande's popularity rating sees record leap

The Local/AFP · 19 Jan 2015, 12:42

Published: 19 Jan 2015 12:42 GMT+01:00

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French President Francois Hollande's ratings, scraping historic lows just weeks ago, have soared in the aftermath of deadly Islamist attacks in Paris, data showed on Monday.

Hollande's ratings leapt by a record 21 percentage points to 40 percent, according to an opinion poll carried out by the Ifop polling company.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls also saw his ratings jump 17 percentage points to 61 percent -- higher than when he first took office.

The attacks by three Islamists in and around Paris nearly two weeks ago left 17 people dead, shocked the country and sparked an outpouring of international support.

Prior to the attacks, Hollande's ratings had fallen to historic lows in the face of record French unemployment and sluggish growth.

"He needed to capture the unity of the nation and I think he did it,” historian Alain Bergounioux argued.

Polls published a week after the attacks said 79 percent of the French public would salute the way Hollande has handled the crisis.

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But how long will this sudden spike in popularity last and does it give Hollande hope that he could pull off an upset in the 2017 presidential elections.

"The memory will linger but unemployment, deficits and taxes will come back to the fore," Jerome Fourquet, from polling company Ifop told AFP.

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

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