French president Emmanuel Macron had broken a new record, becoming the most unpopular French president in history at this stage of his presidential term, according to recent polls which have also seen populist rival Marine Le Pen rise in popularity.
President Macron’s approval rating now registers at a mere 26 percent according to figures by pollsters BVA, who compared his current polling numbers to former presidents during the same era of their terms as leaders of France.
France, BVA polls:
Approval Rating at same time of Presidency
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) November 26, 2018
Macron now polls even lower among the French than his predecessor, former President Francois Hollande, who eventually left office in 2017 with an approval rating in the single digits.
The current French leader’s popularity is even starker when compared to the last conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who enjoyed an approval of nearly one in two French voters.
As Macron’s popularity has faded, the approval ratings of populist Rassemblement National leader Marine Le Pen, seen as Macron’s main political rival by many, has seen a dramatic increase. The BVA poll now sees Le Pen beating Macron with 27 percent to his 26 percent approval.
France, BVA poll:
Approval ratings (president+party leaders)
Le Pen (RN-ENF): 27% (+3)
Macron (LREM-ALDE): 26% (-3)
Dupont-Aignan (DLF-EFDD): 25%
Ruffin (PD-*): 23%
Besancenot (NPA-LEFT): 22% (+1)
Hamon (G.s.-S&D: 21% (-2)
Field work: 21/11/18 – 22/11/18
Sample size: 1,258 pic.twitter.com/3AH6nquybz
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) November 23, 2018
The unpopularity of President Macron has been one of the central focuses of the Gilets Jaunes or “Yellow Vests” movement against the rise of taxes on fuel which has seen protests across the country on the 17th and 24th of November.
The protests, which have seen over 100,000 people participate, blocked entrances and exits on major motorways and over the weekend blockaded much of central Paris.
While the movement has been largely peaceful, it has not been without several incidents of violence including the death of a protestor in the eastern Savoie region during the first protest who was killed by the driver of a car that sped into a group of Yellow Vest movement members.
In Paris, movement members clashed with police along the Champs Elysees, with Ms Le Pen among others claiming that far-left activists had infiltrated the movement in order to fight with police.
Le Pen has been a vocal supporter of the Yellow Vests whose movement has been described by leading French political scientists as a real grassroots populist movement.
Prominent French political scientist Jean-Yves Camus commented on the movement saying, “This is the first time we’re seeing a mobilization that’s coming from the social networks, and not led by the political parties or the unions,” and added, “This is really a populist-type movement, and it’s an extremely strong protest against elite France.”
The movement has also seen the support of the vast majority of French with a poll taken by Odoxa finding that around 77 percent of the country supported the movement.
France: Macron to Address the Nation as Protests Against ‘Green’ Tax Hikes Escalate https://t.co/oBGeWL77DC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 25, 2018
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com