Politics

Emmanuel Macron’s poll shame as French President barely ahead of Putin and Xi Jinping

The poll, conducted by YouGov between July 9 and August 10, 2021, surveyed British adults to determine general views on prominent world leaders. The results will make for uncomfortable reading for French President Emmanuel Macron, keeping in line with scathing polls on his home soil.

The YouGov poll results, which gave a net rating of British adults who said they had either or favourable or unfavourable opinion of major world leaders, put US President Joe Biden on top, with 27 percent approval from the British public.

Canada’s Justin Trudeau followed with 20 percent, and Germany’s incumbent Angela Merkel came in third with 15 percent approval.

Dipping into the red, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has seen a drubbing in recent polls, received a 22 percent disapproval rating.

India’s Narendra Modi followed with a scathing disapproval rating of 23 percent, after a year beset by the disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic.

President Macron is in next, with a shocking -35 percent, with just China’s Xi Jinping (-53 percent) and Russia’s Vladimir Putin (-73 percent) below him.

READ MORE: ‘Selfish’ Germany and France warned China will ‘divide and conquer’ EU

This deep disapproval of the French President extends beyond the British public, as other polling sites have shown.

The Politico Poll of Polls, which aggregates results across numerous polling sites, has shown the French President’s disapproval rating on home soil at a low of 58 percent on September 1, with just a 40 percent approval rating.

Alarmingly, voting intention polls show Macron is neck and neck with far-right National Rally’s Marine Le Pen.

With an eye on the polls, Macron has been working to improve his outlook among voters.

This week, he announced plans to pour money into the Marseille region to improve education, housing, transportation and tackle crime.

The French President spent three days in Marseille, France’s second most populous city, in an attempt to shed his reputation as an elitist Parisian leader.

He once said his love for Marseille had no limit and that he was a die-hard supporter of its OM soccer club, but it has so far shunned both him and his party in the polls.

In a speech on Thursday, he said: “Marseille is at the crossroads of many challenges: climate change, geopolitics, migration.

“The nation’s duty is to be by the side of those who live in Marseille.”

With security already a significant issue in the April 2022 election, Macron toured a police station in Marseille’s poorer northern suburbs and pledged to crack down on drugs and trafficking by boosting police numbers.

Crime in the city has been a hot topic of debate in France since the start of the year after a spate of grisly murders linked to cartels and gangs made national headlines.

The city’s Socialist mayor has been calling urgently for more investment to try and address the root causes of the violence.

But the president’s woes extend beyond problems at home, with political opponents accusing him of “recklessness” over the Afghanistan crisis.

President of the Hauts-de-France region and candidate for the presidential election, Xavier Bertrand, told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche Mr Macron had “shown a confusing naivety” in the face of Islamic extremism since 2017.

He said: “Given the dramatic conditions of the American withdrawal, France lacked leadership. The Taliban’s seizure of power in Kabul is a turning point for the world order and a tragedy for the Afghans. I am thinking particularly of the situation of women.

“We can’t forget the sacrifice of 90 French soldiers who died in combat in Afghanistan, which made it possible to protect our country against potential terrorist attacks.

“Now that the first emergency measures to repatriate our compatriots and those who have helped us there have been taken, we must be very clear with the new Afghan leaders: if Afghanistan becomes again the rear base for anti-Western terrorism, if barbarism is developing there again, massive and rapid sanctions will be needed.


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