France: a government in disarray

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The Socialist Party candidate was eliminated in the first round of a parliamentary by-election, the president is at historic lows in the opinion polls and government is weak. At the same time President Hollande is confusing his message and his priorities. All this adds up, says Mediapart editor François Bonnet, to a looming major crisis between the government and its voters on the Left.

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“Trust is a word that does not feature in laws or regulations, it costs nothing, but it can yield a great deal.” That is a quote from François Hollande during his speech at Le Bourget on January 22nd 2012 during his election campaign. Ten months after becoming president of the Republic the level of mistrust in the country has never been so high. Indeed, the crisis of confidence is even of historic proportions – for the Fifth Republic, born in 1958 - if one believes the opinion polls. These may be an uncertain form of measure, for sure, but they appear to be backing up other indicators.