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July 26, 2017

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Hollande's popularity up after revelations of affair

PARIS -- Francois Hollande, considered the most unpopular president in post-war France, saw a 1-percent bump in approval ratings in January in a poll taken after reports emerged he was having an affair with an actress.

An Ipsos agency poll for Le Point magazine showed 24 percent of those surveyed had a positive opinion of Hollande, compared to 23 percent in December.

However negative views of the French leader remained stable at 74 percent.

The survey was carried out on Jan. 10 and 11, as a scandal broke over alleged secret trysts between Hollande and Julie Gayet, a blonde actress 18 years his junior.

A weekend survey suggested French voters would be willing to forgive Hollande his alleged infidelity, with 77 percent saying his love life is his own business.

However the polls were carried out before it emerged Hollande's long-term girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler had been hospitalized in the wake of the affair report by glossy magazine Closer.

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