Politics, Europe

French president suffers popularity plunge at lowest level since yellow vest protests

Emmanuel Macron's popularity continues to tank amid pension reform push, falling to as low as 28%, shows Ifop pollster

Timo Kirez  | 19.03.2023 - Update : 19.03.2023
French president suffers popularity plunge at lowest level since yellow vest protests


The political crisis in France that erupted over government plans for pension reform has reflected on falling popularity ratings of President Emmanuel Macron, according to a new poll released on Sunday.

Macron's popularity plunged in March to levels unseen since early 2019, the end of the Yellow Vest protests, according to the monthly poll by the Ifop polling institute.

It showed that only to 28% of respondents were satisfied with Macron's administration, 4% less than the previous month, while 70% are dissatisfied.

The poll was conducted on March 9-16 as French lawmakers were negotiating the so-called pension reform, which would raise the statutory retirement age from 62 to 64.

Macron's popularity has fallen by 13% since his reelection in May 2022. It had reached its lowest level of 23% in December 2018, the height of the Yellow Vest protests.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne's approval rating remained unchanged in March at 29%. This was still her lowest popularity level since taking office in in May.

Borne on Thursday resorted to Article 49.3 of the French Constitution to push through the controversial pension reform without a vote in the National Assembly, France's second chamber of parliament.

Since the government's decision to use Article 49.3 to push through the pension reform, thousands of demonstrators have been taking to the streets in cities across the country.

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