In France, Macron's Popularity Hits Record Low

The majority of French people do not feel positive about President Emmanuel Macron as he has hit his lowest approval rating since taking office.

The poll, conducted by survey company Ifop for the weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, shows another dip in Macron's popularity, following some unpopular but expected reforms and more significantly, a scandal around his bodyguard beating protesters.

Only 29 percent of French people feel satisfied with Macron's presidency at the moment, as he is losing support at a rate similar to that of his predecessor, François Hollande, who was widely regarded as the country's least popular contemporary leader by the end of his term. The pollster estimated that Macron's popularity was 34 percent last month. His pronounced dip in the polls follows a recent pattern for French presidents to lose popularity quickly within the first couple of years in office as both Hollande and his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy experienced a similar drop in approval ratings. Neither went on to govern for longer than a single term.

Macron's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also registered a fall in approval, with only 34 percent of people satisfied with him.

Although Macron and his party have encountered expected pushback for their marquee policies that aim to reform labor laws, social services and state enterprises such as railways, a significant amount of vitriol for the leader stems from the revelations relating to his bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. Video shared widely online this summer showed Benalla using riot police gear to violently disperse protesters. Macron then dismissed public outrage at the footage and criticized the media coverage of the incident, before going on summer holiday.

Related: Macron waxwork pulled from historic Parisian museum for being too terrifying

Since returning from his recess, Macron has not managed to put his image problems behind him and potentially fueled negative perceptions of himself when confronted by a gardener who asked him about unemployment. Macron dismissed the man's complaints that he could not find a job, saying that if it was just any job he was looking for, he could find him one "if I crossed the street" to the nearest cafe or restaurant.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a national ceremony to pay tribute to the victims of terrorism, in Paris, on September 19. Macron's popularity has taken a hit recently, reaching a record low. Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

The first litmus test, following Macron's unprecedented surge to victory in presidential and parliamentary elections in 2017 will be May's European parliamentary elections, according to multiple experts.

"Even though they are considered of secondary importance, they tend to be a good bellwether of where things stand politically in the country," Antonio Barroso, Europe analyst at Teneo Intelligence told Newsweek last month. Nationalist Marine Le Pen registered her first groundswell in popularity at the previous European parliamentary elections and went on to beat both main party candidates in a presidential showdown against Macron.