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You can change your name, but it won’t change your politics, say 4 out of 10 French

Cabint meeting of French government, 18 June.
Cabint meeting of French government, 18 June. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

According to a new opinion poll published in the Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche, four out of ten people in France do not care whether mainstream parties such as the Conservative UMP, Socialist PS or right-wing FN, change their name. The majority doubt it will change their politics.

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Whether they're called PS, UMP or FN, many French people don't care what mainstream parties call themselves, so long as they concentrate on the business of politics.

This, according to a new survey by Ifop published in the Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

More than 1000 people interviewed by phone this week, were asked whether they would be in favour of their party changing its name.

For the Socialist Party (PS), 49% of respondents said they were indifferent , whilst 38% said they were opposed, and only 13% answered they were in favour.

For the Conservative Party (UMP), 47% are indifferent, whilst 37% are against and only 21% in favour.

Within the right-wing Front National, 43% are indifferent, 44% are hostile and only 13% in favour of a possible name change.

Asked which name would best reflect the values of their party,  "union," was the most popular response at 52%, whilst "front" was the least popular at only 10%.

Parties like the Front National have recently launched a debate looking at the pros and cons of a name change, as part of Marine Le Pen's strategy to clean up the party's image.

Also vying for a new cosmetic uplift, is French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who says he no longer wants to be called "socialist." In an interview to be released this week, he calls on his party to break with the past, and is in favour of a name change. But 50% of Socialist supporters are not.

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