Macron on brink as popularity plummets among young French voters

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Many have been turned off by the French President’s introduction of compulsory vaccination for caregivers and the establishment of a health pass. While the measures have gone down well with the country’s older population – who are most vulnerable to Covid – many younger people believe that the rules encroach on their civil liberties.

A recent poll by Ifop showed that ahead of next year’s crucial presidential election, Mr Macron’s popularity rating is down 13 points among 18-24-year-olds.

The Republic’s leader received a 38 percent favourable opinion – a fall of two points – among the oldest segment of the population.

The poll, carried out for French publication Le Journal du Dimanche, showed that the number of people dissatisfied with their leader jumped four points to 62 percent.

Frédéric Dabi, director of Ifop, said: “It is progressing in the categories of the population which are more vaccinated than the average.”

He explained that pollsters observed “a polarisation of discontent”.

They saw the health pass described as “a compulsory vaccination in disguise” and “a loss of freedom” by critics.

Among retirees he fared better as the number satisfied with him increased six points to 47 percent.

It also rose by three points among those over 65 to 46 percent.

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Mr Macron has improved in categories where he had lost ground in recent months.

This came as 79 percent of the French population aged over 65 have received both jabs.

Executives and higher intellectual professions also welcomed the president’s decision on vaccines, reflected by his rating rising eight points to a slight majority of 52 percent.

But with only 29 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds being fully vaccinated – anger over the health passes continues to hit his support.

Marginally over half of this age group are dissatisfied.

Similarly, 68 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds (a seven-point rise) and 66 percent of 35 to 49-year-olds (a seven-percent rise) disagreed with Mr Macron’s decision.

Among artisans and traders 70 percent are dissatisfied – a 15-point rise.

Business owners (67 percent, +13 points), employees (68 percent, +11 points) and workers (74 percent, + eight points) also gave Mr Macron negative reviews.

The polarisation and falling support among the young could impact his chances of winning a second term, observers have warned.

Mr Macron’s Le Republique En Marche party and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally both performed poorly in recent regional elections.

Instead, centre-right candidate Xavier Bertrand emerged as a leading contender and may reign victorious next year.

The survey questioned 984 people French adults online and by telephone from July 13 to 15.

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