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Polls mixed on Macron's popularity amid bodyguard scandal

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By Pascale Davies
Polls mixed on Macron's popularity amid bodyguard scandal
Copyright  Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron's popularity has dipped following a crisis involving a bodyguard according to a survey on Sunday, which countered a separate poll the previous day. 

An Ifop survey of nearly 2,000 people, published in the French weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche on Sunday, found Macron’s popularity had slipped one percentage point from a month earlier to a new low of 39 percent in July.

It comes after Macron's security aid Alexandre Benalla was caught on camera 11 days ago. In the video, which received global attention, the security guard was seen beating a male demonstrator during May Day protests and dragging away a woman while off duty and wearing a riot helmet and police tags.

Benalla was consequently fired but Macron's opponents said the president was too slow to act.

Macron's ratings had slumped to fresh lows last month after he was dubbed the "president of the rich" for implementing reforms seen as favouring the wealthy.

Yet another survey published on Saturday showed the 40-year old's popularity had climbed two percentage points to 42%.

The Harris Interactive poll showed Macron’s ratings improving slightly in July, the same month that was also marked by France’s World Cup win. 

The Benalla scandal is still following Macron and will be raised in parliament this week after the opposition conservative party presented a motion of no-confidence in the government. 

But as lawmakers from Macron's party have a majority in the lower house, the motion is unlikely to gather any momentum.