Brazil leader's popularity plummets after protests

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval rating has plunged by nearly 30 points since huge streets protests over shoddy public services and corruption rocked the country, according to a poll out Saturday.

It has gone from 57 per cent down to 30 per cent since June 6-7, said the Datafolha survey, which added that the percentage of people who think her government is doing a "bad or terrible" job has risen from nine to 25 per cent since.

In March, Rousseff's popularity stood at 65 per cent.

In June, her approval rating dipped in all regions, according to the survey of 4,717 people conducted in 196 cities.

The latest poll, which has a margin of error of two per cent, comes as a wake-up call for Rousseff and her ruling leftist Workers Party ahead presidential polls scheduled for October 2014.

The protests initially broke out in Sao Paulo more than two weeks ago over increases in mass transit fares. But they quickly spread nationwide and mushroomed into public anger over substandard public services and the high cost of Brazil's hosting next year's World Cup.

The hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who have taken to the streets have also been demanding an end to rampant corruption in the political class.

The protests have been largely peaceful but have at times been marred by violent clashes with police and acts of vandalism.

Rousseff has responded by proposing a plebiscite on broad political reform and measures to upgrade public transport, education and health.

Congress also rushed through measures to toughen penalties against corruption.