Hollande Poll Rating Tumbles After Minister Quits on Tax Row

French President Francois Hollande’s approval rating fell to a record low after his budget minister quit over an undeclared overseas bank account.

Hollande’s performance was approved by 26 percent and disapproved by 70 percent, according to a monthly survey by Ipsos for Le Point magazine. That’s the worst rating since the series began in 1996. In March, his approval rating was 31 percent and disapproval was 64 percent.

Former Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac on April 2 admitted to lying for months about the existence of a 600,000-euro ($780,000) bank account in Switzerland that he later transferred to Singapore. The allegations, which Cahuzac had initially denied, first surfaced in December and Cahuzac quit March 19 when he was placed under formal investigation.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was approved by 28 percent of the French, according to the Ipsos poll. His disapproval rating was 64 percent.

A separate poll by BVA for L’Express magazine said Hollande’s approval rating fell one point to 34 percent and his disapproval rating rose two points to 66 percent. While that’s Hollande’s worst score since his May election, previous President Nicolas Sarkozy’s approval fell to 32 percent in April 2008.

The only good news for Hollande was that in the BVA poll 70 percent said they didn’t have the feeling that corruption has increased under Hollande.

Ipsos questioned 976 people by telephone on April 5 and 6. BVA queried 986 people on the phone on April 3 and 4. BVA said its margin of error was 2.5 percent.

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