Macron may 'struggle' with left-leaning voters says expert
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New opinion polls show the French President under increasing pressure to hold on to the top job ahead of next year’s election. Mr Macron’s approval rating amongst French voters continues to tank, according to one study by pollsters Ifop. His disapproval rating was put at 60 percent, up two points from a similar poll earlier this month, compared to 37 percent who backed his leadership.
Lockdown-weary voters in France have voiced their fury over Mr Macron’s handling of the pandemic and the country’s slow vaccines rollout.
His main political rival, eurosceptic leader Marine Le Pen, said the sluggish jabs campaign would be the “Waterloo” for Mr Macron.
In a separate poll almost half of the respondents blamed the French President for the snail-paced scheme, and not the European Commission or vaccine manufacturers.
France’s rollout has found itself drastically lagging behind its international partners, with just 25 doses per 100 people administered.
In contrast, Britain and the US have delivered life-saving coronavirus vaccines at a rate of around 60 per 100 people.
The Redfield & Wilton study, on behalf of the New Statesman, found that 72 percent of voters were not satisfied with France’s mass vaccination scheme, just 28 percent said they were.
Of those who voiced concerns, 46 percent said Mr Macron was most to blame for the bungled rollout.
Just 12 percent said Brussels boss Ursula von der Leyen was at fault and 17 percent pointed the finger at manufacturers.
Bizarrely two percent of respondents blamed the British government for France’s jabs failures and 17 percent were unsure.
And recent opinion polls ahead of next April’s crunch ballot have given Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party, narrow leads over Mr Macron.
Among 25 to 34-year-olds, the eurosceptic leader is enjoying an 18-point leader, with 37 percent backing her compared to the current French President’s 19, according to an Elabe poll published last week.
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The shock polling has also prompted warnings from former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that France could one day quit the bloc if it doesn’t learn lessons from the UK split.
He said: “We could draw some lessons from Brexit for ourselves. It’s now too late for the UK but not for us.
“Let us ask ourselves: why this figure of 52 percent at the referendum? Fifty-two percent of citizens voted against Brussels, against the EU, so much so that they actually ended up leaving the union.”
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Most EU politicians often dismiss the electoral threat of eurosceptics or populists until it’s too late.
Speaking at a Brexit conference last week, Mr Barnier insisted France should not be complacent amid “social unrest”.
He added: “We can find, not just in the UK, but here in France, in the northern and eastern regions… citizens who want to leave the EU.”
Ifop surveyed 1,940 French voters between April 8 to 15.
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