Macron approval rating at 37 percent: poll

Paris (AFP) –


Only 37 percent of French voters are happy with President Emmanuel Macron's performance in his first three months in power, a new survey showed on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old's approval ratings have fallen sharply since his election in May after a mixed start to his five-year term in office with the latest poll confirming the results of other surveys.

Of the 994 people surveyed by the Harris Interactive polling group, 62 percent of respondents had a negative view of his presidency, with dissatisfaction highest among far-left and far-right voters.

The centrist was elected with 66 percent of the vote on May 7, soundly beating far-right rival Marine Le Pen, but he inherited a deeply divided country.

While Macron has made a strong start on the world stage, hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Paris, he has faced criticism and difficulties with his domestic agenda.

In particular, he was widely criticised by opponents and the press as heavy-handed after a row over budget cuts that ended with the resignation of a highly-regarded military chief in July.

He will face the first strikes against his economic reform agenda in September when he is hoping to push through radical changes to labour law that are highly contested by trade unions.

The reforms will rip up much of France's more than 3,000-page labour code, weaken the power of trade unions and make it easier for companies to negotiate pay and working conditions directly with their employees.

The survey showed that 46 percent of people were in favour of the labour reform, while 52 percent were against.

Macron has said he intends to make the changes by issuing decrees. Only 35 percent were in favour of this approach while 65 percent were against making changes by decree.