France's President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy welcomes the guests at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace, in March 2008 in Paris.
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 Sunday.
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 Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy in the British press.
Sixty-percent of respondents expected she would help to modernize France's image abroad, and 47 percent that she could help to promote French culture.
Another 73 percent described Bruni-Sarkozy as "nice". Sixty-nine percent thought she was "intelligent" and 61 percent "discreet" in the role of first lady.
But a majority of respondents, 64 percent, warned the first lady would not improve their view of Sarkozy, whose approval ratings have been stuck under the 40-percent mark since February.
A TNS-Sofres poll published in Le Figaro on Saturday showed the president's confidence rating steady at 37 percent, with 60 percent 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 his second wife Cecilia and highly-publicised romance with Bruni gave voters the impression he was neglecting his pledges on the economy.
Sarkozy married Bruni-Sarkozy on February 2. Cecilia married a Moroccan-born events organizer in New York on March 24.