Support for a Withdrawal from Iraq and the Enforcement of Saddam Hussein’s Death Sentence is Strong in Five Countries in Europe and in the U.S., According to a France 24 / Le Monde / Harris Poll
The War in Lebanon, North Korea’s Nuclear Test, and the Result of U.S. Congressional Elections Seen as the Most Significant Events of 2006
Ahmadinejad, Bush and Putin have the Lowest Popularity Scores
ROCHESTER, N.Y., PARIS and LONDON – 22 December 2006 – A Harris Interactive® study for France 24 and Le Monde conducted in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the USA shows that large numbers of adults in each country favour a withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq and support the enforcement of Saddam Hussein’s death sentence.
Large majorities across the six countries favour the withdrawal of the troops present in Iraq, either immediately or in the next few months.
90% of the French are in favour of such a withdrawal (40% favour an immediate withdrawal)
84% of the Spanish (47% favour an immediate withdrawal)
83% of the British (29% favour an immediate withdrawal)
82% of the Germans (43% favour an immediate withdrawal)
Even though majorities of Italians and Americans would support a withdrawal, it is to a lesser extent: 73% of the Italians and 66% of the Americans.
Americans and Europeans support the enforcement of Saddam Hussein’s death sentence
Support for the withdraw of coalition troops from Iraq somewhat parallels the desire to see Saddam Hussein’s death sentence enforced. Saddam Hussein was recently sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal for "crimes against humanity" for his responsibility in the murders of 148 habitants in the Shia town of Dujail in 1982. Apart from Italy (46%), majorities of adults in each of the countries support the enforcement of this sentence, particularly adults in the U.S. (82%) and Great Britain (69%). More than half in France (58%) Germany (53%) and Spain (51%) support the enforcement of that sentence.
There is a near-consensus on which three events were the most significant events of 2006. Judged the most significant are:
The Israel/Hezbollah war in Lebanon
The first nuclear test in North Korea
The defeat of George Bush and the Republican Party in the U.S. Congressional Elections
The nuclear test in North Korea is rated as the most significant event in 2006 by the Germans (20%) as well as the British (19%). The Americans have also placed this event on top of the most significant events of 2006 (27%), along with the defeat of George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the U.S. Congressional Elections (27%). This defeat was also perceived as a significant event by one in five Germans (19%), 13 percent of the British and 14 percent of the Spanish.
The French (11%) cited the rise of the Avian/Bird Flu epidemic ahead of the defeat of George Bush and the Republican Party in the U.S. Congressional Elections (7%).
The French (22%), Spanish (20%) and Italians (18%) were more likely to choose the Israel/Hezbollah War in Lebanon as the most significant event of 2006, over the British (14%), Germans (13%) and Americans (9%).
Many favour a diplomatic solution to the issue of Iran’s uranium enrichment program
If Iran continues its uranium enrichment programme, in spite of the repeated demands from the UN for a complete stop on that nuclear programme, majorities (53% and higher in Spain, Germany, Italy and France) and nearly half of the British (48%) and 39 percent of Americans believe the UN should use all diplomatic efforts in order for Iran to stop the uranium enrichment program/programme. Further modest pluralities feel the UN should impose economic and commercial sanctions on Iran.
Country and government leader ratings
Three of the country leaders with the lowest ratings are:
George W. Bush (USA): Although 38% of the Americans have a positive opinion of their president, majorities in the other countries surveyed have a negative opinion about him. Only one in five (21%) of the Italians have a positive opinion of Bush while the British (10%) , the French (6%), the Germans (8%) and the Spanish (8%) express a positive opinion about the president of the U.S..
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran): Across the countries, his ratings are low: 6% in the USA, 5% in Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain and 3% in France. At least one in four adults within each country measured responded "not sure" when asked to rate this leader.
Vladimir Putin (Russia): One in five (21%) of adults in Germany rate him positively, followed by 18% in the USA, 14% in Italy, 10% in Great Britain and 9% in France and Spain.
With the exception of Angela Merkel (Germany) and Jose Luis Zapatero (Spain), who get relatively high ratings overall from the countries surveyed (except in the USA and Great Britain where they are less well known), the other country and government leaders’ ratings varied.
Tony Blair (UK): is very popular in the USA (64% positive ratings) and in Italy (50%), though only reaching a 25% positive opinion in Great Britain.
Jacques Chirac (France): whose positive rating reaches 55% in Germany, gathers 41% of positive opinions in Spain, 39% in Italy, 36% in France and 17% amongst the British and the Americans.
Romano Prodi (Italy): About one third of adults in France (38%), Germany (33%), Spain (34%), and also in his own country (35%) gave Prodi positive ratings, though in Italy, 59% also expressed negative opinion of this leader. Majorities of the British and the Americans were "not sure" and did not express any opinion about him.
Pope Benedict XVI: even if the Pope benefits from a positive image amongst the Germans (67% expressed positive opinion), the Italians (63%) and a majority of Americans (51%) also give the Pope positive ratings. His image in other European countries is significantly less positive: 39% of Spaniards have a good opinion about him, as do 29% of the British and 27% of the French.
At the end of the 2006, overall morale remains positive with majorities across the countries surveyed saying they feel "optimistic". There are big differences, however, between those who state they are "very optimistic" and "somewhat optimistic".
Spanish and American adults are more likely to be optimistic about their personal situation than those in the other countries, while British and Italians are more likely to say they are pessimistic:
85% of the Spanish people declare to be optimistic (16% very optimistic, 69% somewhat)
81% of the Americans (22% state they are very optimistic, 59% somewhat).
British (34%) and Italian (34%) adults say they are pessimistic about their personal situation
For more information and to view the full results of this study, go to http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/newsletters/clientnews/France24_December%2022nd%20show.pdf.
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive for France 24 and Le Monde, from November 30th to December 9th 2006 among 12,570 adults ages 16 years and over in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States. Quotas were applied on the following characteristics: gender, age, region of residence and social status. 2,140 French, 2,135 Germans, 2,098 British, 2,096 Italians, 1,998 Spanish and 2,103 Americans.
All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include: sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed); measurement error due to question wording and/or question order, deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, non-response (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used) and weighting. With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should be avoided.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 12,507 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/-1.5 percentage point. For individual countries, sampling error would be +/-3 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.