Macron’s popularity falls further in September

President Emmanuel Macron holds a news conference after the informal meeting of European Union leaders in Salzburg, Austria, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Vastavam web: The popularity of French President Emmanuel Macron has hit its lowest level since the start of his term, according to a major tracker poll published on Sunday, with just 29 per cent of respondents satisfied with his leadership. The poll by research group Ifop and published in the Journal du Dimanche showed an overall fall of five points in September compared with August, reflecting the 40-year-old’s battle with a series of domestic and foreign setbacks. A separate poll by the Kantar Sofres Onepoint group published on September 17 showed that only 19 per cent of French people had a positive view of Macron’s record, while another survey on September 11 showed only 29 per cent thought he was a “good president.”

The results reinforce a longer-term trend of French voters turning quickly on their presidents soon after their election something suffered by Macron’s predecessors Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. But many analysts also believe Macron has made a series of political errors, including failing to address the scandals over the summer quickly enough and repeatedly creating negative headlines with harsh or condescending remarks. Macron’s biggest challenge remains the economy, however, with his pro-business reforms failing so far to produce a significant fall in unemployment or a major uptick in growth.

His government will unveil its draft budget for 2019 on Monday, which is set to see fresh efforts to rein in France’s chronic overspending through cuts to the public sector payroll and caps on pensions. The survey by Ifop published on Sunday was conducted between September 14-22 on 1,964 people.