Hollande a no-hoper if he stands for re-election: poll

Hollande said he would decide at the end of the year whether to stand for re-election in May 2017.

Paris: Beleaguered President Francois Hollande would not make it past the first round of France's presidential election next year, should he choose to stand, according to a new survey published on Thursday.

However his fellow Socialist, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, who recently set up his own political movement, would fare much better, the Odoxa Institute/Dentsu-Consulting poll found.

Hollande said on Thursday he would decide at the end of the year whether to stand for re-election in May 2017.

If the first round of the presidential election were to take place this weekend, Hollande would win just 15 percent of the votes, according to the poll for Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui daily and BFMTV.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy, of the centre-right Republicans, would win 20 percent of the vote behind far-right leader Marine Le Pen on 31 percent, meaning those two would go through to a second round run-off vote in May next year, the poll showed.

One of Hollande's main problems, should he seek re-election, is France's stubbornly high jobless rate of around 10 percent and rising, especially when compared to falling rates in other large European economies.

Opinion polls on Thursday showed nearly 90 percent of voters take a negative view of Hollande's presidency.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls unveiled measures Monday to help young people find work, aiming to quell weeks of protests against the government.

Reform-minded Macron last week announced the creation of the "En Marche" ("On the Move") political movement, fuelling speculation over the former banker's presidential ambitions.

Macron, 38, insisted then that the 2017 presidential election -- just 13 months away -- was "not my priority today", but pointedly did not throw his support behind Hollande.

Should he decide to put his hat in the ring, Saturday's opinion poll suggested he would secure 21 percent support against 30 percent for Le Pen and the two of them would go forward to the run-off which Macron would win.

The poll of 949 voters was carried out on April 14-15.

( Source : AFP )
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