French President Francois Hollande is hinting that he could seek a second term in elections next year, even though he is the least popular French leader in modern times.

The Socialist Hollande gave a sweeping speech Thursday laying out his vision of democracy and repeatedly suggesting that he is eyeing a re-election bid. "I will not let the image of France be spoiled ... in the coming months or the coming years," he said.

Campaigning for the April-May elections is picking up speed. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is seeking the conservative nomination, and polls suggest far right leader Marine Le Pen is a strong contender.

Hollande's popularity plunged soon after he took power in 2012, and polls show most voters don't want to see him stay in office.