Poll Says 70 percent of French People Disapprove of Chirac's Leadership

About 70 percent of French people are dissatisfied with President Jacques Chirac's performance, an all-time low popularity rating, according to poll published Sunday.

Only 27 percent of French people are satisfied with Chirac, compared to 70 percent who say they disapprove, said the poll by the Ifop agency published in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

Chirac's popularity figures tied his record low — also the record for any president in the Fifth Republic that began in 1958, the paper said. Chirac's second term ends next year, and he is unlikely to seek re-election.

The poll figures were even worse for Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin: 73 percent said they were dissatisfied with him, compared to 23 percent satisfied.

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The leaders' popularity suffered this spring when they tried unsuccessfully to push through an unpopular youth jobs plan that sparked massive street demonstrations and temporarily shut down many universities. Their government has also been engulfed by allegations that they waged a dirty-tricks campaign — which both deny.

Many of those polled said they were angry that Chirac granted a presidential pardon to Guy Drut, a former sports minister and Olympic champion who was convicted of corruption.

The poll questioned 1,854 people age 18 and up between June 8-16. No margin of error was provided.