French give Hollande lowest approval rating this year

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2015 6:05 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls have seen their approval ratings fall again this month, with Hollande's hitting its lowest level this year, according to an Ifop poll released on Sunday.

The share of respondents satisfied with Hollande fell to 20 percent from 23 percent in September, in the survey for the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

It had stood at 29 percent in January, when Hollande was praised for his handling of Islamist militant attacks in Paris.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls received a positive rating from 36 percent of respondents, down from 39 percent in September and 53 percent at the start of the year.

Internal divisions, splits with other left-leaning parties and Hollande's personal unpopularity have dented his Socialist party's (PS) prospects for regional elections in December, boding ill for their chances in the 2017 presidential race.

The Ifop survey was based on the views of 1,969 people gathered via phone and Internet between Oct. 9 and Oct. 17, Ifop said.

A separate survey carried out last week by the pollster Elabe for the news website Atlantico indicated that the PS and its allies would come third behind the conservative Les Republicains and their allies and the far-right Front National in the total number of votes in December's regional elections.

The PS has lost in every major election, local or European, since Hollande came to power in 2012.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Kevin Liffey)