External Affairs

President Macron’s Popularity Rating Rises Significantly After Return From Africa Trip

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to attend a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, May 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Alain Jocard/Pool

French President Emmanuel Macron Credit: Reuters/Alain Jocard

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron‘s popularity rose above 50% for the first time since he was elected in May, with people approving of the way he defends the country’s interests abroad, a poll showed on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted by IFOP-Fiducial (IFOP) for Paris Match magazine, saw the head of state’s popularity jump 6% compared to when the same survey was conducted in November.

It comes after Macron undertook a three-day tour to Africa promising a break from the past. During the trip, he was praised for his direct approach with students at a university in Burkina Faso.

“The French appreciate his way of making contact with people and to speak openly even if he didn’t announce anything,” said IFOP’s deputy chief Frederic Dabi.

73% of the 978 people surveyed said Macron defended the country’s interests well, a 5% rise from November.

The jump in popularity also comes at a time when the French right is more fractured than at almost any point in the modern-day Fifth Republic, leaving opposition to Macron negligible.

On the negative side, 57%of people said they believed that Macron was not in tune with the concerns of the French.

The poll, carried out between December 1-2 said that some 42% of people saw the far-left Insoumise Party as the main opposition to Macron, compared to just 22% for the conservative The Republicans and 21% for the far-right National Front.