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Sarkozy approval rating at lowest-ever level

In another major blow to the French president ahead of this month’s local elections, a new poll suggests that Nicolas Sarkozy does not have the approval of 64 percent of the French.

Results of a CSA opinion poll published in Le Parisien daily suggested on Sunday that Sarkozy’s approval rating sank 4 points in a month to stand at 36 percent — the lowest level since he came to power in 2007.

Critics on both sides of the French political spectrum attributed the low level of approval rating to economy saying unemployment was weighing in on the respondents minds.

“The government’s strategy has led to more poverty and more unemployment, so the regional elections have come at the right moment,” Socialist party spokesman Benoit Hamon told Canal+ television on Sunday, according to Reuters.

This, analysts maintain, could provide more fodder for those who want to challenge Sarkozy’s leadership.

“A positive trend is opening up for all those who see themselves as alternatives to Nicolas Sarkozy, both on the left and the right,” said political analyst Stephane Rozes.

Based on a separate CSA poll, leftwing groups would collect a combined 52 percent of the ballot in the local elections against a scanty 28 percent for center-right and rightist parties.

Sarkozy has suffered a host of setbacks in recent months, his authority damaged by internal party disputes, allegations of nepotism, a controversial debate on national identity and growing concerns over the ever-increasing debt and deficit levels.

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