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Two Global Leaders with Very Different Global Perceptions

logoNew research from WIN/Gallup International shows that when it comes to global leaders there are two leaders who have significantly higher recognition than others.  President Obama is significantly more admired around the world than anyone else, while President Putin divides opinion


Almost three in five (59%) of those polled throughout 65 countries around the world hold a favourable view of outgoing US President Barack Obama.  Slightly fewer than one in three (29%) view him unfavourably.   Despite recently seen taking the fight on with ISIS in Syria, President Putin splits opinion with one in three (33%) viewing him favourably but 43% viewing him unfavourably.  However, when looking at the two most populous countries in the world President Putin remains increasingly popular.


President Obama fares particularly well in South Asia (76%), in the EU countries (67%), Latin America (65%), Sub Saharan Africa (65%) and East Asia (65%).    However, throughout the MENA region his favourability plummets to 33%.   President Putin on the other hand is most popular in the ex-Soviet States (55%) but significantly more unpopular in EU-Europe (67%) and North America (65%)   


2015 Time Magazine Woman of the Year German Chancellor Angela Merkel ranks as the second most popular of ten global leaders polled; 42% hold a favourable view of her, 29% unfavourable.   She also appears to unite both Western and Eastern Europe where her popularity is matched in both regions – 48% and 49% favourability respectively. Ironically she is significantly more popular among males (45%) than females (39%). British Prime Minister David Cameron ranks third – 37% holding a favourable view towards him, 28% unfavourable.   Cameron polls particularly well in South Asia (53%) and North America (46%).   


Jean-Marc Leger, President of WIN/Gallup International said:


“Firstly, there are two leaders with significantly more awareness than others.  While President Obama’s popularity at home has struggled in recent years, on the world stage he remains the most popular leader.  President Putin on the other hand is much admired at home and in the largest country in the world but globally his reputation is less favourable.” 




Q Please indicate whether you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of each of the following world leaders?




Net Score

US President Barack Obama




German Chancellor Angela Merkel




British Prime Minister David Cameron




French President Francois Hollande




Russian President Vladimir Putin




Chinese President Xi Jinping




Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi




Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff




Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud




Iranian President Hassan Rouhani









The WIN/Gallup International End of Year Survey is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the WIN/Gallup International Association in 68 countries around the world.


The question asking to indicate whether respondents have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of each of the 10 world leaders was asked in 65 countries as part of the WIN/Gallup International End of Year Survey.


Data from 65 countries has been averaged to offer regional and global averages.  Each country has been given equal weight, rather than weighting the data relative to the size of each country.  Those interested in seeing individual country data can approach us for data tabulations.




Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:


A total of 63,976 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (28 countries; n=30230), via telephone (15 countries; n=11725) or online (22 countries; n=22021). The field work was conducted during September 2015 - December 2015. The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level.


About WIN/Gallup International


 WIN/Gallup International is the leading association in market research and polling and is made up of the 76 largest independent market research and polling firms in their respective countries with combined revenue of over €550 million and covering 95% of the world’s market.


For more than 60 years WIN/Gallup International Members have demonstrated their expert ability to conduct multi-country surveys on a comparable basis and deliver the highest quality. Their Members are leading national institutes with a profound local knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical sources, customs and culture differences of its own country and carefully selected by the Association Board. With only one Member agency per country, Members work together on a daily basis to share knowledge, new research techniques and tools, as well as to provide the most appropriate solutions to international research projects and service our clients to the best of our abilities.


The accumulated expertise of the Association is formidable - they have internationally renowned experts in public opinion, Third World issues, advertising, and media research as well as in commercial fields such as IT/telecommunications, healthcare, retail, economics, corporate research and so on. Members are at the leading edge of technical and methodological developments, which have impacted on not only the research industry but also the whole commercial world.


Disclaimer: WIN/Gallup International Association or its members are not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C which is no longer a member of WIN/Gallup International Association. WIN/Gallup International Association does not accept responsibility for opinion polling other than its own. We require that our surveys be credited fully as WIN/Gallup International (not Gallup or Gallup Poll). For further details see website: www.wingia.com




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