It appears that Trump is no longer the president with the fastest plunge in his approval rating: that honor has now fallen to France's Emanuel Macron, who since his dramatic victory in the May 7 presidential election, has seen his popularity plummet, and according to a a new poll conducted by Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche, most French voters are now dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron’s performance, a dramatic decline for the president who basked in a landslide election victory less than four months ago.
The poll showed Macron’s “dissatisfaction rating” soaring to 57%, from 43% in July. At the same time, those satisfied with Macron tumbled from 54% in July (and 62% at election) to just 40% in August, a stunning 22% drop over three months... which is twice as fast as Donald Trump's fall from grace. According to Gallup, on Inauguration Day, 45% of Americans said they approved of Trump and since then, the number has declined by 11% to 34%, which again is only half as bad as Macron popularity plunge. The Ifop poll also showed the cumulative drop in Macron’s popularity ratings since May was far bigger than that of previous Socialist president Francois Hollande over the same period, who is best known for achieving the lowest approval record of any recent French president on record. As such, one wonders how Macron's approval rating in a few short years can even be positive.
Quoted by Reuters, French government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the ruling party was going through a "tricky time", but added that displeasing some people was a price worth paying if the government wanted to push through reforms. The only problem is the government will most likely not be able to push through reforms, even as Macron's approval continues its sharp descent. Cartaner also told BFM TV that “yes, we are encountering difficulties, but you cannot just spend your time only looking at polls when you’re in government. We are there to transform the country. Our country needs us to take risks, and we are taking risks." Spoken like a true megalomaniac.
As for Macron - who is currently midway through a schedule of official visits to various European capitals and who most recently got into a violent feud with Poland when he criticized the Warsaw government for its "non-European ideals" to which Polish PM Beata Syzdlo slammed "arrogant" Macron saying "you won't rule Europe" - has suffered a number of setbacks since being elected, including tough debates in parliament over labor reform, a standoff with the military and cuts to housing assistance. Then, just last week, Macron became the target of social media scorn and humor, while political opponents criticized the president when it emerged he spent €26,000 ($31,000) on makeup during his first 100 days in office and his office also backed down on plans to give his wife a formal, paid role after a public backlash.
In any case, the latest polling is terrible news for the young new president who was expected to inspire his country with hope and confidence yet appears to be doing just the opposite: Bernard Sananes, head of French polling company Elabe, said the latest survey could encourage Macron’s political opponents, after his party won a commanding majority in parliament.
“It could mean, for the government, that the opposition mobilizes itself again,” Sananes told BFM TV.
It wasn't just Macron: the poll also showed a steep drop in approval for Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, with 47% expressing satisfaction with him - down 9% from last month.
As Reuters adds, Macron - France's youngest leader since Napoleon - faces a big test next month when the far-left CGT trade union leads a rally to protest against plans to deregulate the jobs market. "Now is the key time, with the labor executive orders to be presented," said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva-based investment firm Prime Partners, who has an "underweight" position on French equities.