France

Hollande please don't run again, say 85% of French

François Hollande at the NATO summit near Newport in Wales
François Hollande at the NATO summit near Newport in Wales Reuters/Yves Herman

8 out of 10 people in France do not want French President François Hollande to run for re-election in 2017, a new poll says. The Socialist leader's popularity this week plunged to an all-time low of 13 percent.

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Just how long can French President François Hollande hang on for? It's the question on everyone's lips.

More than half of the French population think the Socialist leader will not stand for re-election in 2017, and even if he did, many would not vote for him. This, according to a poll published on Sunday by Ifop for Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Anger has centred on Hollande's handling of the economy and failure to keep his promises. 

Former Socialist party chairman Martine Aubry, who has been absent from public life for over two years, said on Sunday she would come up with suggestions on how to "soften the blow" of the government's economic policy, considered too favourable to big business.

Disagreement within Hollande's Socialist party over how to revitalize the sluggish company and end austerity, provoked a cabinet reshuffle last week. And on Thursday Hollande's newly appointed trade minister Thomas Thevenoud was forced to resign over irregularities in his tax affairs.

All this comes amidst damning revelations by former First Lady Valerie Trierweiler, who published a memoir accusing Hollande of privately mocking the poorest sections of French society.

The Socialist leader refutes the claims and insists he he will see his term through to the end.  So far he has the backing of just 13% of the French, and polls predict he would lose a second-round presidential run-off with extreme-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

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