Hollande hits new low in approval ratings

14th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

Francois Hollande's approval ratings have slumped to a new low with fewer than one in four voters now backing the beleaguered French president.

Only 24 percent of those surveyed this month had a positive opinion of the Socialist leader, found a poll by the Ipsos agency for Le Point magazine -- the lowest score recorded by a French president since Ipsos started its monthly survey in 1996.

The finding is in line with other recent polls which have shown Hollande's standing with voters tumbling again after a brief upturn at the end of the summer.

The downturn follows the exposure of public divisions within the government over the handling of Roma migrants and several other incidents which have embarrassed the administration, including the publication of inaccurate unemployment figures.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who made headlines with his call for the Roma to be "delivered back to the border", had the highest approval rating of any politician, with 56 percent of voters having a positive view of him.

Valls, increasingly tipped as a future presidential contender, owes his rise in popularity largely to a surge in his standing in the eyes of traditionally rightwing voters, which more than outweighed the damage that the Roma debate did to his standing on the left.

The poll was carried out by telephone on October 11 and 12 and based on a sample of 955 voters.

© 2013 AFP

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