Paris, April 07: French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, whose celebrity romance with President Nicolas Sarkozy sent his ratings into a tailspin, is proving a hit with the public in her new role, a poll showed.
According to the CSA poll, published in Le Parisien newspaper 10 days after the former supermodel-turned-singer wowed crowds in Britain on her first state visit, nine in 10 French people see her as "elegant" and "modern."
Bruni-Sarkozy's immaculately turned out appearance at Sarkozy's side during their March 26-27 visit to London drew admiring comparisons to Diana and Jackie Kennedy in the British press.
Sixty-percent of respondents expected she would help to modernise France's image abroad, and 47% that she could help to promote French culture. Another 73% described Bruni-Sarkozy as "nice," with an even higher figure of 74% among left-wing voters, aware of the first lady's many friendships on the political left.
Sixty-nine percent thought she was "intelligent" and 61% "discreet" in the role of first lady, reflecting her recent efforts to cultivate a demure, classic image, far from the glamour of the catwalk.
But majority of respondents, 64% warned the first lady would not improve their view of Sarkozy, whose approval ratings are under 40% mark since February.
A TNS-Sofres poll showed Sarkozy's confidence rating steady at 37%, with 60% of respondents saying they did not trust him to solve France's problems. Sarkozy's ratings plunged 20 points at the end of last year, as his divorce from Cecilia and romance with Bruni gave voters the impression he was neglecting his pledges on the economy.