French President Macron's Popularity Reaches Record Low Amid Protests and Pension Reform

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French President Macron's Popularity Reaches Record Low Amid Protests and Pension Reform

French President Emmanuel Macron is facing record low ratings amid protests against his proposed pension reform, according to a poll by the Odoxa polling group. The survey shows that only 30% of respondents thought Macron was a "good" president, a decline of six percentage points in a month. Meanwhile, 70% of respondents judged him negatively. The survey also shows that Macron's popularity is nearing the low that he reached in December 2018 during the "Yellow Vest" anti-government demonstrations, when only 27% of people held positive views of the president.

The protests are increasingly violent and widespread, with strikes and demonstrations organised by trade unions for the past 10 days. The government has proposed to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, which has been met with opposition. A referendum on the matter is favoured by 71% of respondents, with 67% saying they would vote against the change. Other surveys have confirmed a slump in Macron's ratings, with rubbish piling up in the streets of Paris due to the ongoing strikes.

The poll also showed that far-right leader Marine Le Pen's favourability rating has slumped to 32%, down three percentage points. Meanwhile, Edouard Philippe, Macron's first prime minister, saw his rating drop seven points to 34%. The survey indicates that if Philippe falls again next month, a far-right leader could be at the top of Odoxa's political trackers for the first time in six or seven decades. However, even with his low approval ratings, Macron remains more popular than his predecessor Francois Hollande while he was in office.

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