polls in 10 countries show allies prefer kerry

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    Polls in 10 countries show US allies prefer Kerry
    08:53, Friday, 15 October 2004

    LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Polls commissioned by newspapers
    in 10 countries show that most citizens in U.S. allies prefer
    John Kerry to George Bush, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported
    on Friday.

    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 Nov. 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, a left-leaning newspaper that opposed the war
    in Iraq, said the results showed Bush "has squandered a wealth
    of sympathy around the world since Sept. 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.

    ((Reporting by Peter Graff, editing by Scott McDonald; London
    newsroom: +44 207 542 7947))

    (c) Reuters Limited 2004
    REUTER NEWS SERVICE

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