Francois Hollande has suffered the "blackest week" of his presidency after the publication of Valerie Trierweiler's memoirs and a new poll slump cast fresh doubt on his ability to stand for a second term.
The poll, published in 'Le Journal du Dimanche', found that 85pc of French voters do not want Mr Hollande to run for a second term as president. It comes after a senior Socialist official described the publication of a kiss-and-tell book by the former first lady, Ms Trierweiler, as "a mortal poison for Francois but also, perhaps, for a whole generation of politicians".
Julien Dray, a Socialist MP, called it "the blackest week" of Mr Hollande's embattled presidency.
Another poll last week was bad news both for Mr Hollande and the conservative opposition, indicating that confidence in mainstream politicians had plunged to such depths that the far-Right leader Marine Le Pen could win the first round of the next presidential election.
However, the poll suggested that she would win the second and decisive round only if her opponent was Mr Hollande.
Mr Hollande spent the weekend with close friends and political allies, putting a brave face on his travails. "During these international and national trials, and these personal trials, my duty, in the name of the republic, is to show personal solidity," he told members of his cabinet at the Elysee Palace.
'Merci Pour Ce Moment' ('Thanks For This Moment'), the book by Ms Trierweiler, portrays him as an aloof, snobbish, spineless liar and has shot to the top of the bestseller lists.
A close aide of the president, Bernard Poignant, said Mr Hollande would make no further comment on the book after he denied that he referred to the poor as "toothless".
Mr Hollande's aides ruled out a resignation or a dissolution of parliament, but commentators were asking whether he could see out his presidential term (© Daily Telegraph, London).