Perception of world leaders - prophets without honour
Aug
22
2012

New Zealanders tend to be more generous in their ratings of overseas leaders than their own citizens. Barack Obama, Julia Gillard and David Cameron are all doing decidedly better in New Zealand than in their home countries. Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, is doing much better amongst Russians than amongst New Zealanders. 

  • Obama enjoys a stratospheric 81% positive; 12% negative rating from New Zealanders. This is way better than his polarized home rating. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post he is running at 50% positive; 47% negative. Bill Clinton was very popular with New Zealanders too but we were not keen on George W Bush giving him high net negatives *.
  • Julia Gillard is under long term siege in Australian opinion polls has often had positive publicity in New Zealand. The Australian Prime Minister would certainly take the 45% positive; 31% rating she has from New Zealanders. New Zealand men are much kinder than their Australian counterparts. Her rating in a UMR Australia online survey in September was 34% positive; 53% negative. As in all Australian polls Julia Gillard also trails behind Kevin Rudd who when Prime Minister in 2009 rated 56% positive; 11% negative amongst New Zealanders.
  • David Cameron would also seemingly face an easier re-election task in NZ than the United Kingdom. He is not that well known in New Zealand but enjoys a healthy 40% positive; 16% negative rating. Tony Blair consistently did better than this amongst New Zealanders but Cameron was up on Gordon Brown’s 2009 rating of 30% positive; 31% negative. Cameron’s job satisfaction rating at home in an Angus Reid august survey is 33% approve; 56% disapprove. This isn’t an apples v apples comparison but there is no doubt David Cameron is currently more popular in NZ than Britain.
  • Vladimir Putin’s hard man appeal does not seem to work so well amongst New Zealanders. We give him the thumbs down with only a 9% positive and a 51% negative rating. He is going backwards too having a modest 37% positive; 26% negative rating in 2004. In a Russian May-June Associated Press-GFK poll he had a 60% positive and a 14% negative job satisfaction rating.
  • Far fewer New Zealanders know enough to rate Angela Merkel but she is shaping up positive at 28% positive; 5% negative. Her job satisfaction rating in a July ARD Deutschland poll was 68% positive; 32% negative.