The former partner of Francois Hollande has said France "should turn the page" on his reported affair with the actor Julie Gayet, echoing the underwhelmed reaction to the scandal of the French population.
In a weekend poll in the Journal du Dimanche, 77 per cent said the affair was a personal matter, while 84 per cent said their opinion of the president - whose popularity has sunk to record lows recently - had not changed as a result of the claims.
The survey is the first to have been conducted after an article published in the celebrity magazine Closer on Friday alleged the president had been holding secret trysts with Gayet in a borrowed flat near the Elysee Palace.
Hollande's former partner of 23 years and the mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, on Sunday dodged a barrage of questions on France2 television.
"I don't want to feed the saga with a little sentence which is very, very far from French people's concerns,"she said.
When the presenter followed up by asking whether the issue was "not political", Royal replied ambiguously: "We should turn the page and get back to work."
It was not clear whether Royal's words referred to Hollande, to herself and the president, to the woman regarded as the first lady, her former love rival Valerie Trierweiler, or to the French public as a whole.