Macron's popularity plummeting

The French president's popularity ratings continue to plummet. According to a YouGov survey published on Thursday only 36 percent of voters have a favourable view of Macron while 49 percent take a negative view of his work. A survey by the research institute Ifop also gave him poor ratings. Should the president consider a change of course?

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Libération (FR) /

Sense of injustice is spreading

Macron must correct his course, Libération urges:

“Of course you can't demand that everything must change and then start moaning as soon as the first reform comes along. ... However, the measures adopted so far have spread a sense of social injustice that could come back like a boomerang this autumn when the labour law returns to the agenda. So corrections are urgently called for. Macron's predecessors know what it costs if you bungle your first summer in the Elysée. François Hollande never recovered from that. It's risky to compare yourself with Jupiter: if you fall, you plunge from a great height.”

Mozgástér (HU) /

Critical media reports unwelcome

Macron hopes to counter his loss of support with an aggressive media policy, political scientist Zoltán Kiszelly explains on blog portal Mozgástér:

“By now French journalists have grown used to the fact that he won't give any more interviews. Macron and his team only want to read positive reports about themselves. Starting with Macron's first official trip the Elysée Palace wanted to choose which journalists the editing departments sent. What's more, government spokesman Christophe Castaner called on the media not to 'weaken' the labour law reform with investigative reports. So the announcement by Macron's party La République en Marche that it is creating a media empire in which it can communicate directly with the voters fits in with this approach.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Too much arrogance is harmful

Corriere della Sera makes fun of Macron and the sudden plunge in his approval ratings:

“The man of divine providence who - as he himself modestly claimed - was sent by Jupiter himself to rescue France from the clutches of Marine Le Pen and the Front National, has taken the delusion of his own infallibility a little too seriously and forgotten that without the scandals that engulfed ex-prime minister Fillon the results of the presidential election would have been very different. The end of the honeymoon with the French is, as ex-president François Hollande regretfully and philosophically said, inevitable. In the case of his successor Emmanuel Macron it has come very quickly. From authority to authoritarianism: this short step has not gone unnoticed by the press, which initially sympathised with the Napoleonic demeanour of the former financial inspector who was catapulted into the Elysée Palace by a miraculous turn of events.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

No reason to hit the brakes

The president should not be intimidated into deviating from his reform course, Handelsblatt urges:

“His two predecessors lost their reformist courage when their approval ratings in the polls began to crumble. The coming months will show whether Macron has more staying power than Sarkozy and Hollande. In August and September, when his government gets specific on the labour market reform, dissatisfaction is likely to increase. Macron was elected because a majority of the French want comprehensive reforms in the country. He must address this majority and fulfil its expectations. But to do that he must not just stick to his course but also be willing to explain more clearly what his plans consist of.”

Le Point (FR) /

Nosedive also has an upside

The significance of the poll results shouldn't be overdramatised, Le Point stresses:

“There are several possible explanations for such slumps. It can be the result of disappointment when the president doesn't do what he said he would. That was the case with Jacques Chirac in 1995 (minus 15 points). He won the elections due to a social divide that he did very little to overcome. Or such a slump can come when voters are confronted with the reality of measures they approved of when they elected the politician who championed them. ... A president who seems to care more about taking action than being popular (time will tell to what extent and for how long) is a novelty. Even if a ten-point drop in the polls can hardly be called good news, it is interesting as a test of his resolve.”

Público (PT) /

Maastricht deficit limit takes priority

Público defends the president's unpopular policies:

“Macron must make difficult political decisions, especially as regards the distribution of resources. Some, like the [former] army chief of staff Pierre de Villiers, may not understand this. Macron has decided to bring public debt below the Maastricht Treaty's three percent limit - and shown that he is willing to sacrifice some of his election promises for the sake of this 'top priority'. … Macron, however, has not only cut the military budget but also postponed the promised tax relief measures. Now it's up to him to find a long-term balance.”