MAPSTATS

International confidence in world’s leaders

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Compared with some other prominent global leaders, President Trump fares relatively poorly in the eyes of much of the public.

Roughly half of those surveyed have confidence in Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, and around a third voice no confidence. Her backing is strongest in the Netherlands (85%), Sweden (82%) and France (78%), all nations where her support is stronger than it is in her native Germany. Notably, while 68% of Germans express faith in Merkel, that backing is down 13 percentage points since 2017. The erosion of her German support has come entirely among those who say they have “a lot of confidence” in her. Her weakest backing in Europe is in Greece (15%), Hungary (31%) and Poland (37%). She has strong support in much of the Asia-Pacific, except in Indonesia, where 32% are confident in her. Merkel is a conservative, yet it is Germans who self-identify as ideologically on the left (74%) who have greater confidence in her than those on the right (59%). Similarly, Poles on the left (75%) are much more likely than Poles on the right (26%) to voice trust in the German chancellor. The same pattern is found in Hungary, the UK and Israel.

A median of slightly fewer than half (46%) of the adults surveyed express trust in French President Emmanuel Macron’s conduct of foreign policy. Roughly a third lack confidence. More than seven-in-ten Germans, Dutch and Swedes express trust in Macron to do the right thing in world affairs, as do nearly two-thirds of French adults (64%). But it is French on the right (72%) and those who are avowed centrists (71%) who are bigger fans of the French president than are those on the left (49%). Notably, Germans (30%) are twice as likely as French (15%) to say they have a lot of confidence in the French leader. Fewer than half of those surveyed in Africa and about one-in-five in Latin America trust Macron’s handling of international issues, but the share of adults who express no opinion is relatively high in those countries, possibly reflecting a lack of name recognition.

A median of 34% across the countries surveyed voice confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping, while 56% lack confidence in him. His strongest backers are in the Philippines (58%), Kenya, Nigeria and Tunisia (all 53%), and Russia (50%). And his support is up 22 points in Tunisia and 12 points in Canada. Confidence in Xi is particularly low in Latin America, where many have no opinion of the Chinese leader, and in parts of Europe. Just 9% of Poles and 11% of Greeks trust Xi. Confidence in Xi in the three African nations surveyed is higher than in any European country polled. Notably, in Australia and Poland it is young people – those ages 18 to 29 – who are more supportive of Xi than their elders – those 50 years of age and older.


Confidence in Donald Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs


Confidence in Angela Merkel to do the right thing regarding world affairs


Confidence in Emmanuel Macron to do the right thing regarding world affairs


Confidence in Xi Zinping to do the right thing regarding world affairs


Confidence in Vladimir Putin to do the right thing regarding world affairs

Russian President Vladimir Putin has the confidence of a median of 30% in the survey, with 62% expressing no confidence in his handling of world affairs. Around eight-in-ten Russians (81%) trust him in this arena. Roughly six-in-ten in the Philippines (61%) and half in Tunisia (53%) are supportive. In Europe, his strongest backing is in Greece (45%) and Germany (35%). His weakest support is in Poland (7%). A median of 48% in Europe say they have no confidence at all in Putin. Far fewer than half of those surveyed in Africa, Latin America and in most of the Asia-Pacific nations trust Putin in dealing with international relations, although many Africans and Latin Americans express no opinion.

source: PEW research

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