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Half of France misses Sarkozy as Hollande disappoints

Less than a year after François Hollande (left) was elected French president, voters appear to be dissatisfied with his performance. A recent poll shows that a slim majority wish his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy (right), had stayed in power.

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More than two-thirds of French voters are disappointed with the performance of Socialist French President François Hollande, according to a BVA survey published on March 3 in Le Parisien newspaper.

A total of 68 per cent said they were dissatisfied with Hollande – including 92 per cent of those who voted for rightwing parties.

Of those who supported Hollande in 2012, just under half (44 per cent) said they were dissatisfied.

Major issues for all those polled were the economy, rising unemployment, higher middle-class taxes and the government’s inability to achieve its deficit-reduction targets.

Unemployment in France is at record levels with more than 10 per cent of people of working age out of a job.

At the same time, French industry is struggling to remain competitive in global markets and the country was forced to admit in February that it will not be able to reduce the deficit down to 3 per cent of GDP in 2013.

More than half (54 per cent) of those polled said they did not believe Hollande’s Socialist government had introduced sufficient reforms to turn the country’s economy around.

Worryingly for Hollande, 48 per cent of his own supporters said they were disappointed by the lack of reforms (62 per cent of rightwing voters feel the same).

After less than a year since Hollande was voted in, a majority of French voters – 51 per cent – believe that former centre-right leader Nicolas Sarkozy would have done a better job of improving French prospects if he had been re-elected.

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