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Monday, 15 April 2013

François Hollande's approval ratings fall again

The French love their polls.

Er...perhaps that should read the French media loves commissioning polls for readers and viewers.

There are certainly enough published week after week.

And if you believe them - because they're always right, aren't they - the French president, François Hollande isn't exactly what you would call popular at the moment.

Back in February, Hollande's approval ratings fell to just 30 percent, making him "the least popular president for 30 years".

Although those commissioning that particular poll (Le Figaro magazine) and interpreting the figures (Britain's Daily Telegraph) can hardly be said to be among the most pro-Hollande newspapers, the trend is one that has been repeated month after month since he came to power in May 2012.

And the latest poll, this time commissioned by Le Nouvel Observateur - the left-leaning weekly news magazine sometimes described as "the French intellectuals' parish magazine"-  puts those approval ratings even lower - 26 percent.

Not even a recent "charm offensive" as Hollande attempted to "meet and greet" and "press the flesh" in a mini-series of tours around the country, seem to have convinced the French that he really is the man they can trust to see them through the economic difficulties.

And his cause will not have been helped by the most recent front covers of three different weekly magazines to hit the news stands.

Each of them - in their own way - perhaps more cruel than the next and surely illustrating a real disaffection within much of the French media as to Hollande's leadership abilities.

L'Express went with a capitalised "Monsieur Faible". Le Point used Hollande's apparent nickname among Elysée staff to ask whether "'Pépère' est-il à l'hauteur?" while the slightly more "glossy" VSD chose "Hollande l'homme qui n'en savait jamais rien".

It cannot get any worse.

Or can it?

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