View of Britain as "positive influence" on global affairs drops 11 points since 2012

Data from Ipsos Global Advisor shows sharp decline in those who believe Britain will be a positive influence in the next 10 years

The author(s)

  • Becky Pinnington Data Journalist
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The proportion of people who expect Britain to have a positive impact on world affairs has dropped by 11 percentage points since 2012.

Data from Ipsos Global Advisor shows 62% of people across 28 countries now expect Britain will be an overall positive influence on world affairs over the next ten years. This is a steep decline from 2012, when 73% expected Britain would have an overall positive influence.

The largest decreases were in European countries, while changes were less pronounced in Asia and Latin America.

Germany and Belgium took the dimmest view of Great Britain. Just 31% of Germans and 36% of Belgians polled had an overall positive view of Britain’s impact over the next 10 years. In 2012, 68% of Germans and 63% of Belgians expected Britain would have a positive impact on world affairs. The steepest drop in outlook for both countries was in 2016.

Respondents in France, the Netherlands, and Spain also had an overall negative view of Britain’s impact.

However, on a global level, Britain is the fourth most positively regarded country in Ipsos’ survey, behind Canada, Germany, and France.

Colombians had the most positive view of Britain’s impact on world affairs. 84% believed Britain would have an overall positive impact during the next decade, including 20% who felt “strongly positive” about Britain’s impact.

 

How does Britain see the world?

Britons took the most positive view of Canada’s global influence. 89% of those surveyed said they thought Canada would be an overall positive influence during the next decade, 22% of whom felt strongly positive about Canada.

Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are the countries Britons view most negatively. A mere 12% of Brits think Iran will have an overall positive influence during the coming decade, while 33% envision its influence as “strongly negative”.

 

While Germany and France both took a negative view of Britain’s influence, Britons held favourable views of both. 70% said Germany would have an overall positive impact over the coming decade, while 65% said the same of France.

Interestingly, although 78% of respondents in the US believed Great Britain would have an overall positive impact on global affairs, most British respondents believed the opposite of the US. 57% of Britons believed the US would have an overall negative impact over the next 10 years.

How do Britons see themselves?

Across all the countries polled, 71% believe their own country will have a positive influence on the world during the decade to come.

In the UK, this rate is a little lower, as 68% believe their own country will be a positive influence.

Britons’ positivity about their own impact has declined since 2012, when 79% felt that Great Britain would be a positive force over the next ten years. This 11% decrease is equal to the decrease worldwide.

About this survey

More than 18,500 people were polled between August-September 2019 across 28 different countries on behalf of the Halifax International Security Forum.

15 of 28 surveyed countries generate nationally representative samples. These are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the US.

Brazil, China, Chile, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey produce a national sample that is more urban & educated, and with higher incomes than their fellow citizens. They are not nationally representative of their country.

To access the full dataset, contact us.

The author(s)

  • Becky Pinnington Data Journalist