France: Macron’s approval ratings improve despite defeat in European elections

French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has surged to its best score in a year despite a defeat in the European elections, which the opposition turned into a referendum on his first two years in power, polls showed on Tuesday.

Macron received a 36 percent approval rating in the monthly survey by pollster Odoxa in June; it was the highest increase in his rating since he took office in 2017.

His popularity has jumped by 6 percentage points from 30 percent before the European elections, according to the survey, which marked his best rating since June 2018, it added.

The pollster attributed the solid approval rating to a positive impact of the government’s general policy and the weakening of opposition parties after the EU vote.

According to the survey, the president, who shattered the traditional centre-right and centre-left bloc to create his movement in 2016, has boosted his approval ratings among “The Republicans” party. Forty-three percent of centre-wing conservatives said they approved his work in June, up by 10 percent from the previous month.

In the left camp, 9 percent more of the Socialist party’s supporters expressed approval and 11 percent of the hard left party “Unbowed France” backed the 41-year-old.

A BVA survey released on Tuesday confirmed an improvement in Macron’s popularity. It found that 35 percent of 1,003 respondents it interviewed on June 19-20 approved of the president’s work, up by 3 percent.