French President Emmanuel Macron has seen a huge surge in popularity during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, increasing to popularity not seen since February 2018.
A poll released by the firm Ifop for Paris Match and broadcaster Sud Radio has shown that the French leader has been boosted a full 13 points in the polls over the last month with 46 per cent of French now having a positive view of him.
The rise is remarkable considering how consistently poor Macron’s opinion poll ratings have been during his presidency. Breitbart London reported he had become the most unpopular president in history in 2018, his approval scraping rock-bottom at 25 per cent.
A key feature of the Macron Presidency has been persistent and at times violent protests, as well as crippling strikes, as citizens of the Republic expressed their disgust at the government’s pushes at reform. In 2019, 69 per cent of French said they didn’t expect Macron to enjoy a second term — but now he is enjoying support at levels which Le Figaro reports haven’t been seen in over two years.
A similar pattern has been seen in the United Kingdom as citizens fearful of the coronavirus rally around their leaders. Support for both the British government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson personally have soared in recent weeks, to the extent that the British people now overall approve of the government for the first time in a decade.
Other leaders including President Trump, Angela Merkel, and Justin Trudeau have also seen a coronavirus boost as people look to their governments for leadership.
Back in France, Macron’s Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has also seen a boost in popularity among French voters and now sees a 43 per cent favourability rating, an increase of seven per cent compared to the month prior.
In mid-March, President Macron’s policies had also seen high approval ratings in response to announcing lockdown measures. An Odoxa study taken for Le Figaro just days later, reported on March 19th, revealed that 96 per cent of respondents agreed with the measures. Sixty-five per cent had also said Macron’s speech, which declared that France was in a state of war with coronavirus, had convinced them to support the measures.
Paris No-Go Zone Police Overwhelmed Attempting to Enforce Quarantine https://t.co/YYq4q25zp7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 22, 2020
Another poll by Ifop, for the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, was less favourable, showing that only 44 per cent of the French believe that the Macron government will “deal effectively” with the Wuhan coronavirus crisis, a decrease of 11 per cent in just a week.
Part of the lack of confidence may be attributed to the difficulty in which authorities have in enforcing the lockdown measures in the various no-go suburbs across the country such as the heavily migrant-populated Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis.
“We are not going to give up. But we also know where these people live and how they live. Strict containment, for them, is just impossible,” one local police officer said.
Lockdown measures have also been difficult to enforce in other areas, including the heavily-migrant populated 18th arrondissement of Paris, where locals were caught largely ignoring the measures.