Despite changes, Sarkozy continues to fall in polls

Other News Materials 14 April 2008 13:04 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - If French President Nicolas Sarkozy thought that marrying his girlfriend and changing his style would help him regain favour with his electorate, a poll published on Monday showed that he was mistaken.

According to the survey, which was carried out by the OpinionWay institute and published in the daily Metro, 61 per cent of the French are dissatisfied with his performance, an increase of 5 per cent over one month ago.

Only 38 per cent of those polled said they were satisfied with Sarkozy's efforts, down 3 per cent.

OpinionWay's head of political analysis, Bruno Jeanbart, said that Sarkozy was still popular with his conservative base but had lost popularity in the centre.

"To rise (in popularity) again, he must confirm his new, more sober, manner of being president in the medium and long term. And also wait until the French benefit from his reforms," he said.

Whereas in previous polls the French seemed to say that they disapproved of the president but liked his prime minister, Francois Fillon, and other ministers, the OpinionWay poll showed that their disapproval now affected the entire government.

For Fillon, 48 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with his actions, a rise of 9 per cent. Popular Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Labour Minister Xavier Bertrand and Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo also lost significant ground in the poll.

As would be expected, politicians on the left gained in favour in the poll, led by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. A front-runner to be Sarkozy's opponent in the 2012 presidential election, Delanoe received an approval rating of 66 per cent, up 4 per cent over last month.