Hollande: Better than Sarkozy?

Hollande: Better than Sarkozy?

29% Brits think Hollande better than Sarkozy, 13% say Hollande is worse, 28% say no difference

Just under a third of Britons believe the newly elected French President Francois Hollande will make a better President than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, our poll shows. Meanwhile, around a quarter expect there will be no difference in quality between Hollande and Sarkozy.

  • 29% think newly elected French President Francois Hollande will make a better President than Nicolas Sarkozy
  • 27% believes there will be no difference between Hollande and Sarkozy
  • 31% 'don’t know' if Hollande will be better or worse than Sarkozy
  • 13% think Francois Hollande will be a worse President than Nicolas Sarkozy

Expectations are high in France among Francois Hollande's supporters, who see the newly elected Socialist president as a way to reverse the “divisive policies” of his conservative predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. In a speech given at his inauguration, France's first Socialist president in 17 years dwelt on how his presidency will differ from Sarkozy's by being more open, inclusive and modest.

Hollande told the crowd his victory was a message that "change is coming", and that he brought hope for all the people in Europe who want "an end to austerity." Among the pledges of his election campaign there was the promise to tax the rich, spend more on teachers and cut back the retirement age.  He assured the people of France and the Eurozone that he would "redress, repair and reunite" a France that was "broken and burnt".

Eurozone attitudes to Hollande

For Germany and other Eurozone states with right wing leaders, it is still unclear as to what extent Mr Hollande is someone they can conduct business with. He has explicitly committed himself to putting an end to austerity, to “renegotiate” Europe’s fiscal compact and to block the treaty’s ratification if all else fails.

Many feel that the chemistry between Germany’s Angela Merkel and the new French president will be a more compatible fit than it was with Sarkozy. The Independent reports that while “they may come from different sides of the political spectrum…  Ms Merkel will likely have more in common with Mr Hollande's sober, consensus-building and old-style European leanings than ever she had with Mr Sarkozy's tempestuous flamboyance and outspoken Atlanticism”.

As for Britain, the new left wing president is expected to make little immediate difference between our nation and France, as the long-standing sympathies and differences between the two countries remain much the same. 

See the full survey details and results (pg 9)

Bonnie Gardiner

Writer and contributor to the YouGov website.

Worked in the YouGov London office until September 2012

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