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French President Hollande's popularity sinks as new PM Valls' rises

Published on Apr 13, 2014 10:05 AM
France's President Francois Hollande (right) escorting newly appointed Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris after the weekly cabinet meeting on April 4, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

PARIS (AFP) - Popular approval for French President Francois Hollande has hit a new low of 18 per cent, far below the 58 per cent for his new Prime Minister Manuel Valls, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.

The least popular French president for decades, Mr Hollande's poll rating fell five points, dipping below 20 per cent for the first time since coming to power in 2012.

In contrast Mr Valls, who took office late last month, becomes the most popular French premier at the start of his tenure, according to the monthly findings of the Ifop polling institute which were published in the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.

The opinion poll findings also exposed the biggest gap between the popularity of a French president and prime minister.

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