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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Hollande perd des points à gauche

by Julia Hamlaoui

Hollande Losing Ground On Left

Translated Saturday 1 December 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Henry Crapo

While the French president’s approval rating has been stabilized, the Left has become more critical.

The news might have been good for the French president. With a 41% approval rating in November, François Hollande chalked up a 1% increase compared to October, according to an LH2 opinion poll done for le Nouvel Observateur magazine.

But the slight rise is tempered both by a BVA opinion poll done for l’Express magazine, Orange telecommunications, and France Inter radio, which shows no change and a 44% approval rating; and even more by an Ipsos poll done for Le Point magazine, which shows a 1% fall to a 41% approval rating.

But more worrying for the French president is the fact that confidence is crumbling in the population categories that make up “his electoral base”: a 7% drop among the young, for example, according to Ipsos. On the other hand, LH2 shows a 12% increase in approval, to 40%, among those polled whose income is over 5000 euros a month.

No more than with his traditional voters, the austerity course does not seem to have convinced the Left. Although for Ipsos the French president “is bearing up well in his own camp,” he nonetheless has suffered a 3% fall among those who sympathize with the left (dropping from a 75% to a 72% approval rating), although his approval rating remains stable among those who consider themselves to be close to the Socialist Party.

LH2 shows the same phenomenon (down 1% in the Socialist Party), which moreover notes a 12% fall among those who sympathize with the Left Front (62%). On the right, the rating is contrasted, with an even more significant fall than on the left, according to Ipsos, but with a clear increase (3%) according to LH2.

As for the French prime minister, the polling institutes show a 2% to 5% fall to an approval rating of 38% to 44%. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault suffered all the more as last week he was on the firing line, defending the competitiveness pact. He chalks up a 4% to 7% fall among those who sympathize with the Socialist Party, and a 16% fall among those who sympathize with the Left Front.

Worse yet, according to Céline Bracq of the BVA polling institute, “80% of the factory workers consider the government to be ineffective and 63% think it is unjust.” Erwan Lestrohan, a poll director at LH2, has concluded that “today, expectations appear unsatisfied both as concerns a left-based presidential policy and as concerns comprehension of government policy.”

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