Emmanuel Macron’s approval rating is sinking fast.
Just 30% approve of France’s newest president, according to the YouGov France poll published today (Sept. 4). Macron, who was elected in May, saw his approval-rating drop from 43% in July to 36% in August, and finally 30% in September. Macron’s approval rating was just slightly lower than prime minister Edouard Philippe, whose popularity rate fell to 32% in September.
Macron’s dwindling popularity appears to have inspired a frantic shake up of his communication team. Macron’s office announced they would be bringing in Bruno Roger-Petit, an outspoken TV journalist and opinion writer, as a spokesman last week (Aug. 29). Roger-Petit is in charge of “broadcasting the Elysée’s public message” through “any means at his disposal, notably the presidency’s Twitter account,” a statement from Macron’s office notes. Alongside Roger-Petit, Macron’s office also hired three new press attachés.
The first few months of Macron’s presidency has been marked with tight restrictions on how his team interact with the media. There were few press conferences, off-the-record briefings were banned, and aides were warned heavily against leaks.
There has, however, been a notable shift in how Macron deals with the media. Macron appeared to adopt a more open communication strategy as he struggles to offset his falling approval ratings. During his trips to Austria and Romania last week, Macron was seen engaging with journalists. It was a far cry from his earlier statement that his thoughts were far too “complex” for journalists to understand.