• 01:54
  • 19.12.2018

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 Macron's approval rating hits record lows four months after election

Macron's approval rating hits record lows four months after election

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A majority of French voters are now dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron's performance just four months after the president gained a landslide victory in the country's elections, a poll has found. 

The survey, conducted by Ifop for newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD), showed Mr Macron's "dissatisfaction rating" rising to 57 per cent, from 43 per cent in July.

Forty per cent expressed satisfaction with the centrist leader - down 14 points from July.
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The 39-year-old, who became France's youngest president since Napoleon, suffered the worst drop in popularity for a French president in 20 years in July, with his approval rating plummeting from 64 to 54 per cent in the space of one month. 

The drop was the biggest decline in popularity for a French president since Jacques Chirac in 1995.

He has also suffered lower popularity ratings than his predecessor Francois Hollande, who himself was extremely unpopular. 
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French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said Mr Macron's En Marche! party was going through a difficult time, but added that displeasing some people was a price worth paying if the government wanted to push through reforms.

"Yes, we are encountering difficulties, but you cannot just spend your time only looking at polls when you're in government. We are there to transform the country. Our country needs us to take risks, and we are taking risks," he told BFM TV.

Mr Macron has pushed himself onto the international stage since winning power in May. He hosted high-profile visits from Russian leader Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, and he is midway through a series of visits to various European capitals.
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However, he has suffered significant setbacks at home, including tough debates in Parliament over labour reforms, a standoff with the military and cuts to housing assistance.

It comes after Mr Macron faced a furious backlash for spending 26,000 euros (£24,000) on makeup during his first 100 days in office. 

His campaign pledge to "moralise public life" also suffered a blow when his office was forced to back down on plans to give his wife a formal, paid role following public criticism. 
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Bernard Sananes, head of French polling company Elabe, said the latest survey could encourage Mr Macron's political opponents, after his party won a commanding majority in parliament.

“It could mean, for the government, that the opposition mobilises itself again,” Sananes told BFM TV.

The Ifop poll showed the cumulative drop in Mr Macron's popularity ratings since May was bigger than that of previous Socialist president Francois Hollande over the same period.
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The poll also showed a drop in popularity for Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, with 47 percent expressing satisfaction with him - down 9 points from last month.

Mr Macron faces a big test next month when the far-left CGT trade union leads a rally to protest against plans to deregulate the jobs market.

“Now is the key time, with the labour executive orders to be presented,” said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva-based investment firm Prime Partners. 
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