Emmanuel Macron dealt humiliating blow as voters back Marine Le Pen in Covid poll

Emmanuel Macron: Polls show Marine Le Pen's popularity rising

An IFOP-Fiducial poll for CNEWS and Sud Radio found 20 percent believe Ms Le Pen would manage the pandemic and vaccine roll-out a lot better than Mr Macron. The survey also showed 22 percent thought Mr Macron’s former prime minister Edouard Philippe would do a better job if he was in power today. The survey was conducted online between February 9 and 10 with a sample of 1,019 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

The latest findings will come as a serious blow to the embattled president who could face a tough challenge from Ms Le Pen in next year’s national elections.

They follow results from a similar poll published this week which showed eight in ten French voters think the French government has been clueless over the Covid-19 crisis and subsequent inoculation programme.

Mr Macron has been accused of a lack of preparedness and vision as he struggled to get to grips with the epidemic, which has hit France particularly hard compared to some of its European neighbours.

A poll carried out by the Odoxa institute showed 81 percent of people believe Mr Macron’s centre-right government “does not know where it is going” in terms of Covid planning.

The damning assessment of his administration’s performance comes after he last week defended his decision not to order a third lockdown in the face of a third wave of the virus.

The president said he felt confident that less severe curbs would drive down infection rates.

But his words offered little comfort to many French people who cannot see an end in sight while as the vaccine rollout crisis continues across the European Union.

In the same poll, conducted for Le Figaro and France Info, six in ten respondents said “they do not trust the government to manage the crisis.”

And seven in ten said French ministers “did not take the right decisions at the right time”.

Scepticism of Mr Macron’s reasoning behind coronavirus measures was also shown to be high, as 73 percent said they did not believe the government was being truthful.

The main causes of doubts in the minds of the French point to the government’s successive procrastination on mask-wearing rules and the slow progress on administering Covid jabs.

Those living in rural areas were found to have a higher rate of distrust of their government.

The same research showed scepticism of Mr Macron’s performance has only slightly decreased by four points since a similar poll was carried out last October.

While distrust affects all categories of the population, it was found to be particularly low among supporter of Mr Macron’s party, La République en Marche.

Just 11 percent of loyal Macron voters said they did not trust him to lead.

Almost seven in ten people in low-income categories do not support Mr Macron’s tactics, the survey showed

And the figure jumped to almost nine in ten for supporters of Ms Le Pen’s National Rally party.

Odoxa president Gaël Sliman said there is clearly a “feeling of ineffectiveness over time” when it comes to how French people view how their government responded to the crisis.

Mr Sliman said Mr Macron’s recent decision to postpone a third national shutdown may backfire.

He said: “If Emmanuel Macron’s objective was – in part – to restore a little confidence in economic players, it will probably not be achieved.”

The Odoxa survey was conducted online on February 3 and 4, with a total of 1,005 French adults taking part.

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)


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