Hollande’s Popularity Goes Up After News of Affair

The French President's dire approval ratings see a slight uptick after allegations of an affair

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Sean Gallup / Getty Images and Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

President Francois Hollande and actress Julie Gayet.

French President Francois Hollande dislikes his personal life being discussed in the media, but he might have cause to change his mind — according to one poll his approval rating has gone up following reports that he’s having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

Hollande’s approval rating went up by 2 points to 26 percent, based on a LH2 poll conducted for French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur on Jan. 10 and 11. It’s a slight improvement on his performance last year, when he hit a record low of 15 percent in one November poll, making him the most unpopular president in modern French history.

The Socialist leader’s approval rating is far below that of his predecessor, conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was in power between 2007 and 2012.

Hollande has criticized the French magazine Closer for publishing the allegations, declaring in a statement that he “deeply deplored” the magazine’s intrusion into his personal life, reports Bloomberg.

It seems the majority of the French public agree—a separate Ifop poll showed 77 percent of French voters considered the matter to be private, and 84 percent had not changed their opinion about Hollande following news of the alleged affair.