Monday, April 14, 2014

IFOP: Valls More Popular than Hollande by 40 Points

The Fifth Republic has entered uncharted waters. The Prime Minister has a 58% approval rating, according to IFOP, while the President is only 18. Nothing like this has ever been observed before.


Of course, Valls has only been on the job for a week. "Give him time," say les mauvaises langues, "and he'll be down in the daisies with the president." Of course, according to the logic of the institutions, the PM is supposed to serve as a screen for the president, shielding him from the dissatisfied public. The president can always fire the PM, but not the other way around. So now what?

Well, the logic could be stood on its head. The willingness of 58% of the electorate to give Valls the benefit of the doubt--rather than say, "Groan, yet another Socialist to screw things up further"--suggests a surprising level of what I am tempted to call forgiveness. So it's possible that the dissatisfaction with two wasted years will be directed toward Hollande, while Valls, if he gets results, could be exonerated. Of course promised spending cuts are to be announced this week, and when people know whose ox will be gored, they may quickly change their minds about Valls. But the surprisingly high initial approval rating suggests that the present conjuncture might be viewed as almost the beginning of a new term, un triennat, as it were, in which Valls will have his chance to prove that the PS can indeed govern after all.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The breakdown by partisan affiliation is interesting. Valls is more unpopular with Front de Gauche supporters than he is with the UMP's (and the UMP and EELV numbers being almost identical, as with those of the FdG and FN). As for Hollande, his negatives are higher than his positives even among PS voters. That's tough. I don't think this has ever happened in the history of the 5th Republic, of a President who loses even his core supporters.
http://www.ifop.fr/media/poll/2601-1-study_file.pdf

Arun

Art Goldhammer said...

Interesting, Arun. Note, too, the comparison of Valls with other "second Prime Ministers" in 5th Rep. regimes. He's way ahead of all. Fabius came in at 29%. He also has 79% support from PS voters and 59% from EELV, which suggests that the left is disgusted with Hollande but not totally demoralized. And +60 from UDI, so he's got the center too. Workers, who support Hollande at only 13%, are behind Valls at 52%. Just an amazing dichotomy in all categories.

James Conran said...

So, assume that in two years time Valls is still reasonably popular and Hollande is still very unpopular, how likely is it that Valls will (presumably after resigning from Matignon) launch a primary challenge against Hollande for 2017?

Art Goldhammer said...

James, Hollande, who is a realist, would not run under those circumstances. But that's a big assumption about his continuing popularity 2.5 years hence.

PF said...

Yes, Hollande seems to have drastically lost simple approval from his party. This is partly understandable, in a relative sense. But, from a political science perspective, the level itself is startling (so low), especially when one considers that the economy has been stagnating or in mild recession, and never undergone a period of free fall like the UK, US, and peripheral Europe have faced. The subjective reaction to leaders in France, registered through polling, seems to have been much more severe than in other OECD countries.

Passerby said...


A further sign has Hollande lost support in the PS base, is that inside the party voices (Julien Dray today) start to explain publicly that the PS should hold a "primaire" in 2017 to appoint its presidential candidate. Including, if Hollande is candidate to his own succession...

Anonymous said...

Vals has one big advantage - and he may manage to keep it. He can bring in the bash-a-Gypsy vote. It's an interesting sign of the times. Just as Delors was able to push through necessary economic and welfare reforms that a right-wing Finance Minister might have found difficult, so Vals may be able to engineer a shift towards illiberality that would be unacceptable from the UMP. No bad thing in my book - the argument that to acknowledge popular sentiment plays into the hands of populists is precisely what plays into the hands of populists.

Cincinna said...

As I have speculated earlier, Hollande would never make it to the second round. A crisis for the PS never before seen. It seems, in the internals of this pretty reliable poll, that his numbers seem fixed, and won't budge. Whither goeth la gauche?

FRENCH ELECTION: New OpinionWay-Le Figaro-LCI poll shows Hollande would not reach 20% to make it to round 2 of French election. Runoff between Sarkozy and Le Pen shows Sarkozy victory.

Deux ans après, Hollande ne serait pas au second tour
Dans le sondage exclusif OpinionWay-Le Figaro-LCI qui refait, avec les mêmes acteurs, le match de l'élection présidentielle de 2012, François Hollande ne recueille que 19 % des intentions de vote. Il ne passe donc pas la barre du premier tour, devancé de six points par Marine Le Pen (25 %) et de dix points par Nicolas Sarkozy (29 %).

http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/2014/04/15/01002-20140415ARTFIG00316-deux-ans-apres-hollande-ne-serait-pas-au-second-tour.php

ANALYSIS HERE:
Hollande au plus bas : la gauche a-t-elle déjà perdu 2017 ?
http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/politique/2014/04/15/31001-20140415ARTFIG00348-hollande-au-plus-bas-la-gauche-a-t-elle-deja-perdu-2017.php