Until I arrived in Paris I was under the impression that Nicolas Sarkozy was experiencing something of a renaissance. The French presidency of the EU was generally felt to have gone well. Sarkozy is one of the few political figures in Europe who still radiates a sense of energy and purpose.
But it is not doing him much good in the opinion polls. The papers here report that the bounce he achieved in the second half of last year has now dwindled away and Sarko is now back down to approval levels of between 36% and 44% (according to which poll you choose) – and has fallen between 4% and 9% in just a month. He is back down to the (dis)approval ratings he was achieving during his bling period in the spring of last year. The main explanation for the fall in his popularity is pretty simple – the economy. Read more