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Foreign polls prefer Kerry

October 15, 2004 18:05 IST
The citizens of eight of ten nations polled oppose the re-election of George W Bush as President of the United States, according to a survey conducted by 10 leading non-American newspapers.

Only the Russians and the Israelis seem to support Bush and his policies.

The survey by 10 leading international newspapers was initiated and coordinated by Montreal's La Presse, Canada's leading French-language national newspaper.

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Other participating newspapers include: Le Monde (France); The Guardian (Great Britain); Asahi Shimbun (Japan); Joong-Ang Daily News (South Korea); Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); El Pais (Spain); Haaretz (Israel); Reforma (Mexico); and Moscow News (Russia).

According to La Presse, approximately 1,000 persons per country were interviewed by professional polling firms in each country. The polling sample provides a scientific measure of public opinion in the ten countries, which have a total population of 640 million people.

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Highlights of the poll, as released by La Presse, include:

Opposition to the re-election of President George W. Bush is unequivocal in eight of ten countries, with only Russia (52%) and Israel (50%) supporting the American leader.

Opposition is most pronounced in Spain, where only 13% of respondents hope he will be re-elected and only 13% hold a favourable opinion of Mr. Bush;

Respondents in Canada (51%) and Great Britain (51%) say the war in Iraq is making a contribution to the war on terrorism; however, in France (80%), Mexico (74%), Spain (73%) and Japan (54%), people responded negatively; 

Eighty per

cent or more of respondents in South Korea, Mexico and Spain said the U.S. had no justification for invading Iraq;

In every country except Israel, a majority of respondents said that their opinion of the United States had deteriorated during the past three years.

Opinions are heavily divided on whether United States democracy remains a model to follow. In the "yes" camp are Israelis (71%), Russians (62%), Japanese (56%) and Canadian (55%). Disagreeing are South Koreans (56%), the British (53%) and Mexicans (48%); -

In every country, however, a majority of respondents hold favourable opinions toward Americans. Russians (86%) hold the most favourable opinion, followed by Israelis (81%), Japanese (74%), Canadians (73%), French (72%), Australians (72%) and the British (62%).

'We can't blindly follow the US'

Even in Mexico, where opinions were more divided, a majority (51%) hold a favourable opinion toward their American neighbours;

In each country where the question was asked, a strong majority of respondents fear that new terrorist attacks will take place in the United States, with Canadians (75%) being the most concerned.

However, that fear is not translated into a fear of travelling to the United States. Russians (91%), Israelis (88%), Canadians (82%) and Mexicans (60%) all said they are not afraid of travelling to the United States at this time.

(Detailed results of the 10 polls are available online at  , the on-line news site of La Presse. )