The French people have given the thumbs down to Francois Hollande’s plan to re-stand as President in 2017. Eighty percent of the public said they did not want the socialist politician to continue despite his ambitions to stay in Élysée Palace.
Hollande’s leadership has long been seen as a blueprint for what Ed Miliband would do in Britain if he is elected Prime Minister on Thursday. The two men are reported to enjoy a close relationship, and share a fiercely anti-austerity agenda.
The latest poll was carried out by the CSA institute for news website Atlantico. It showed the same proportion of people surveyed, 81 percent, also thought Hollande’s record in office was “negative”.
“The reasons are diverse,” Yves-Marie Cann, who is in charge of political polls at the CSA, was quoted as saying by Atlantico. “The lack of track record in terms of the economy and social affairs has a significant impact, 1 1/2 years after the deadline for reversing the unemployment curve.”
Cann added: “The increase in fiscal pressure, the decline in purchasing power are also contributing to the negative sentiment.”
Miliband previously said of the French leader: “The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found.”
He continued: “What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward.”
The number of people out of work in France rose again in March, showing that gradually improving economic data have yet to translate into job market gains in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy. Hollande has said he will not seek a new term in 2017 unless unemployment is tangibly falling by then.
Hollande’s policies have also led to a ‘brain drain’ from the country, with business leaders leaving France in favour of places like London.
Additional reporting by Reuters.