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Polls show U.S. allies prefer Kerry
Updated: 2004-10-15 14:09

Polls commissioned by newspapers in 10 countries show that most citizens in U.S. allies prefer John Kerry to George Bush, the Guardian has reported.

Voters in eight U.S. allies -- Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, Spain and South Korea -- all said by wide margins that they would prefer to see the Massachusetts senator beat the incumbent U.S. president in the election on November 2.

Of the 10 countries that participated, those polled in only two -- Israel and Russia -- preferred Bush.

On average, voters in the 10 countries favoured Kerry by a margin of 54 percent to 27 percent.

The polls were commissioned by newspapers in each of the countries, including the Guardian, France's le Monde, Spain's El Pais and Japan's Asahi Shimbun. Each was carried out by a local polling firm; the Guardian's by pollsters ICM.

The Guardian, which opposed the war in Iraq, said the results showed Bush "has squandered a wealth of sympathy around the world since September 11".

By wide margins, voters in all the countries but Israel and South Korea said their opinions of the United States had worsened over the past two or three years. In all, 57 percent said their view of America had worsened, while only 20 percent said it improved.

Yet despite their worsening opinion of America, 68 percent of those polled still said they like Americans as people. Respondents said they still believe U.S. democracy is an example to other nations, by a margin of 52 to 42.

Predictably, France, which strongly opposed the war in Iraq, was the most pro-Kerry country of the 10. The senator was favoured by 72 percent, against 16 percent for Bush.

But Kerry also wins in Washington's closest battlefield ally Britain, by a margin of 50 percent to 22 percent.

Mexicans prefer Kerry to Bush 55-20, Spaniards 58-13, and Australians 54-28. Israelis prefer Bush by a margin of 50 percent to 24 percent.

Asked if they believe the war in Iraq has "contributed to the fight against terrorism around the world", Britons and Canadians said yes and South Koreans were undecided, but the French, Spaniards, Japanese and Mexicans said no by wide margins.

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