Favorability Ratings Hollande, Sarkozy, Le Pen
Hollande Upsets Everybody
A steel town visit by Hollande backfires as the unpopular president struggles to gather support for re-election bid.
The poster complains about tax havens and high unemployment.
Please consider Indiscreet Hollande Upsets Even his Closest Allies.
Trade unions snubbed President François Hollande on a visit to a depressed industrial town in north-eastern France on Monday, providing a potent symbol of the left’s disenchantment with a socialist leader struggling to gather support for a re-election bid.
Seeking to defend his record in office, Mr Hollande went to Florange, a steel town in Moselle he vowed to rescue in a landmark campaign speech in 2012.
“Florange is not a relic, it is the future and sign that we have won our battle,” Mr Hollande insisted.
But many on the centre-left are now asking whether their deeply unpopular leader is a relic. The angry reaction of workers’ representatives underscored the rift between Mr Hollande and his electoral base less than six months before the presidential elections. His socialist colleagues are seething after the publication last week of a fly-on-the-wall account of his time in the Elysée Palace in which Mr Hollande wishes for “the liquidation” of the Socialist party.
Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, secretary-general of the Socialist party and a Hollande loyalist, said he was “surprised” and “disoriented” by the confessions, admitting that the president did “not facilitate” his re-election plans.
“Hollande is deluding himself if he thinks he can revive his chances for re-election by going to Florange. Working class voters are lost to him,” Laurent Bouvet, a Versailles university professor, says. “He’s losing support within his own camp every day.”
The trip to Florange was part of a plan to win back leftwing voters before Mr Hollande launches his re-election campaign later this year. But following the uproar caused by the book, in which he lashes out at his party, opponents, footballers and judges, the president has been scrambling to stem growing criticism from some of his closest allies.
In the book “A President Shouldn’t Say That …”, which is based on 61 interviews with two Le Monde journalists over four years, Mr Hollande suggested shutting down the party he ran for a decade before becoming president. “There must be a hara-kiri,” he is quoted as saying.
He also takes a jab at Mr Sarkozy, calling him “the little de Gaulle” and described French footballers as “ill-manned brats” who needed exercise their brains. His most controversial comments, directed at judges, described as “cowards”, forced him to issue a humiliating public apology on Friday.
His approval ratings are still lagging in the low teens, a record low in France’s modern history.
Hollande seems likely to run, no matter what the unemployment rate may be, and no matter what his popularity ratings suggest he should do. We will find out shortly.
I expect the final pairing to be eurosceptic National Front candidate Marine Le Pen vs. Allain Juppe. The latter is a center right Republican squaring off against Nicolas Sarkozy.
Most will hold their noses when they vote, just as in the US.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock