sarkozy.best.known

French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a UMP presidential support meeting in Marseille, France on Feb. 19, 2012.  (Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)


French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the best-known and least-liked of five European Union leaders according an opinion poll in the region’s largest economies.

Of 4,217 people questioned in France, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and Italy, on average 93 percent knew Sarkozy, ahead of 92 percent for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, based on a poll by BVA Opinion for 20 Minutes, the French free daily newspaper.

Sarkozy said he’ll quit politics if his re- election bid fails in an interview on RMC Radio.

The first round of France’s presidential elections is April 22, with a run-off on May 6.

“He’s the best-known head of state, shoulder to shoulder with Angela Merkel,” BVA said in an e-mailed statement.

“However, if Sarkozy is thus the best-known, he is also the least-appreciated head of state.”

On average in the five countries, Sarkozy received 33 percent positive opinions against 58 percent negative, according to the pollster.

Merkel on average was seen positively by 50 percent of those polled, while 41 percent had a negative view.

“Sarkozy is the only head of state to be unpopular in each of the questioned countries,” BVA said.

“Contrary to Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel is the most popular of those heads of state asked about.”

The U.K.’s David Cameron was known to 88 percent of those questioned, followed by Italy’s Mario Monti with 74 percent and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy with 63 percent recognition.

Of the respondents, on average 44 percent had a positive opinion of Cameron and 42 percent a negative one, while for Monti the score was 36 percent for both views.

Spain’s Rajoy was liked by 27 percent of those polled, while 34 percent on average held a negative opinion.

BVA said it polled 1,017 French residents 15 years or older, as well as 800 each in Germany, the U.K., Italy and Spain.

The poll was held from Feb. 20 through Feb. 29 via the Internet, according to BVA, which didn’t provide a margin of error.