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Published : 2014-01-21 19:16
Updated : 2014-01-21 19:16

PARIS (AFP) ― Popular approval for French President Francois Hollande rose slightly around the time news broke of his affair with an actress, according to the latest poll published Monday.

But overall support for the 59-year-old Socialist head of state remains very low, at just 31 percent, according to the BVA polling institute.

Hollande appeared to gain four points in positive opinions after he gave a Jan. 14 news conference in which he resolutely steered away from much comment on his liaison with actress Julie Gayet to focus on France’s struggling economy, the poll conducted Jan. 16 and 17 showed.

The fillip was in comparison with the previous survey carried out two weeks earlier.

Nevertheless, 80 percent of respondents said they believed Hollande’s governance was ineffective.

A positive rating of just 26 percent recorded in October last year made Hollande the most unpopular French president of modern times.

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