The Strategist

Francois Hollande broke the unpopularity record

10/25/2016 - 17:21

Only four French out of 100 are positive viewing President François Hollande. 96% or respondents are dissatisfied with him, as showed public opinion polls conducted by Center for Political Studies CEVIPOF.

CEVIPOF Centre (Centre de recherches politiques de Sciences Po) published a new assessment of the pre-election situation in France. These polls are not ordered by media or candidates and, therefore, serve interests of political science at the net. Although results of CEVIPOF’s studies have repeatedly been criticized by the leftists, nobody calls the organization politically biased.

According to figures released today, 70% of respondents expressed sharp disapproval of President's performance. Another 26% did not blame President, yet had nothing to praise him for. Only 4% said they were "satisfied" with Francois Hollande’s actions. Supporters of the latter are divided into two groups: 1% are "rather satisfied" and 3% declare "full satisfaction".

This is not the first unpopularity record of Mr. Hollande. Previous was recorded in November 2013 by the Paris Institute for the Study of Public Opinion (IFOP) and amounted to 20%. Then, public speculated that President had crossed a dangerous line, yet Francois Hollande confidently reached 13% in 2014.

Even the most critical observers could not have predicted today's 4%. In fact, François Hollande returned to the situation in 2010, when he was called "Mr. 3%". 

In December, Francois Hollande has to decide whether he is going to enter the presidential elections race in 2017. Polls show that this should not be done. Even his closest allies are considering someone else. Among the frequently mentioned are current Prime Minister Manuel Valls, and current Minister for the Environment and Energy Segolene Royal. Two other potential candidates, namely former ministers Arnaud Montebourg and Emmanuel Macron, could also compete for the presidency. However, they are unlikely to enlist support of all left camp.

Hollande has become the most unpopular president in the history of the Fifth Republic. His rating at times fell below 20%. Migrant crisis and surge of terrorism, resulted in numerous victims of the terrorist attacks, also took place during reign of Hollande. However, cause of his unpopularity primarily lies not in the migrants and terrorist, but in the socio-economic problems. Hollande came to power thanks to critics of the "belt-tightening" policy pursued by the European Union, Merkel and Sarkozy. Elections then showed small preponderance of Hollande. By the way, he became the second Socialist president in the history of France after Francois Mitterrand. 

France is a presidential republic. President of the country has a decisive influence on choice of Prime Minister, formation of the government and its policies.

Hollande and the Socialist government quickly took up currently popular neo-liberalism. In times of crisis, this political view supports large capital, and this is done mainly at the expense of ordinary citizens. Hollande and the Socialist government did nothing to reduce unemployment, which crossed the national average psychological threshold of 10%. Hollande was supported by many Islamic and non-European people of France in hope that the Socialist would improve their socio-economic status. As a result, unemployment in a number of Muslim and Arab-Negro districts exceeded 30%.

In general, François Hollande has never given the impression of an aggressive politician. His strategy is smoothing iron out difficulties and finding compromises. At least, he proved it so during 11 years as first secretary of the Socialist Party. As president, he has also avoided conflicts, except maybe for the controversial adultery.