PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande’s popularity has recovered slightly from a recent low as street protests against a contested labor reform have abated, a poll showed on Monday.
Hollande’s popularity rating rose to 18 percent this month from 16 percent in June, according to the Opinionway poll of 1,011 people on July 5-7.
The Socialist leader’s ratings sank to record depths last month as his government faced waves of strikes and sometimes violent protests over a bill to make hiring and firing easier.
With its authority put to the test, Hollande’s government stood firm in the standoff with hardline unions, and the protests have since subsided if so far not entirely disappeared.
Political analyst Frederic Dabi with the Ifop pollsters said the government was probably also benefiting from a short-lived bounce from France having successfully hosted the Euro soccer championship without major security incidents.
Public opinion has remained highly sensitive to security threats since Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people at cafes, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris.
“At best (the impact of the championship) can mask over the criticism for a few weeks, but they will come back after summer when economic and social concerns come to the fore,” Dabi said.
The improvement in Hollande’s ratings offers a rare ray of light for a leader long dogged by low polls as he has struggled to turn around the economy and cut unemployment as promised.
France is less than a year away from a two-round presidential election in April and May in which Hollande has yet to say whether he will run.
Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Elizabeth Pineau; editing by Mark Heinrich