Poll: Sarkozy's popularity at all-time low after Roma controversy
The popularity of French President Nicolas Sarkozy is at its lowest point since he took office, due in part to his government's much-criticized policy of deporting foreign-born Roma, according to a poll published Friday by the daily Le Figaro, DPA reported.
In the survey, which was carried out by the TNS Sofres institute, 72 per cent of correspondents said they did not trust Sarkozy to solve France's problems.
This is an increase of 5 per cent over one month earlier and the highest level since he became president in 2007.
Only 26 per cent of those asked said they had confidence in Sarkozy to solve the nation's problems, a drop of 3 per cent.
A breakdown of the poll revealed that Sarkozy's recent rightward turn, especially in law and order, and his hard stance on immigration, saw his approval rating increase by 4 per cent among partisans of the xenophobic National Front.
However, it caused his popularity to fall by 5 per cent among the more moderate conservative voters.
Perhaps most worrisome for Sarkozy ahead of the 2012 elections is that 60 per cent of people over 65 said they did not have confidence in him, an increase of 7 per cent.
The elderly have traditionally been his staunchest supporters, but many have apparently been turned off by his pension reform, which will raise the age of retirement from 60 to 62 by the year 2018 when it becomes law.