A BVA poll shows that the Prime Minister was supported by 54 percent of the French Population as the popularity of Edouard Philippe continues to climb (+8 percentage points since last month). The Prime Minister widens the gap with Emmanuel Macron (+1) who is relegated 16 points behind on 38 percent.
Mr Philppe’s score meanwhile has reached its highest level since July 2017.
BVA says the Prime Minister’s positive results can be explained by his ability to manage the coronavirus crisis.
The group says this is because of his “stoicism”, his “calmness” and the fact that he “seems more involved in the reality than the president.”
It comes as police officers demonstrated last week in Paris over proposed government changes to change officer practices and discipline officers suspected of racism.
France has also suffered weeks of demonstrations against racism and police violence against minorities following the death in police custody of George Floyd in the United States.
In light of this, BVA said Emmanuel Macron’s popularity rating has been “resisting” since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
They added: “Without succeeding in garnering points, Emmanuel Macron does not seem to suffer from the turbulent social context: he does not see his popularity rating decrease as during the crisis of the yellow vests or the movement against the pension reform project.”
The coronavirus has killed more than 29,300 people in France and forced Macron, a former investment banker, to suspend his economic and social reform drive aimed at spurring growth, creating jobs and deregulating the economy.
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BVA also played down any rumours of a cabinet reshuffle by Mr Macron saying six out of ten French people didn’t want a change of Prime Minister.
They added: “While rumours concerning a possible cabinet reshuffle are becoming insistent, the French are today mainly hostile to the idea of changing Prime Minister and replacing Edouard Philippe in Matignon.”
Three years after taking office, the president and prime minister also remain more popular than their predecessors, François Hollande who had 26 percent and Manuel Valls who had 40 percent favourable opinions.
The BVA survey was carried out online between June 17 to 18 and 1,003 French people aged 18 and over responded.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega