A Peaceful, Democratic Iraq? Britons, Canadians Gauge the Prospects

by Darren K. Carlson, Government and Politics Editor

Majorities say Iraq better off now

Last week, President George W. Bush expressed confidence that the fledgling Iraqi government will eventually be able to fight insurgents on its own. Bush said he was also pleased with recent progress against the insurgency. Meanwhile, insurgents have killed more than 600 people -- most of them in Baghdad -- since the Iraqi governmental Cabinet formed in April.

Great Britain is the second-largest contributor of troops to the Iraq conflict after the United States, while Canada decided not to participate. How do the views of citizens of these countries compare on the Iraq situation? Recent multinational Gallup polling* shows Britons and Canadians believe Iraq is better off now than it was before the invasion, and they are fairly optimistic that a democratic government will eventually be established. However, optimism about the prospects for peace and security in Iraq is not as strong.

Is Iraq Better Off Now?

Even as ongoing battles with insurgents continue to fill newspapers around the world with reports of suicide bombings, majorities of Canadians and Britons believe Iraq is better off now than before U.S. and British troops invaded. Specifically, April 2005 polls in the two countries show 61% of British respondents and 59% of Canadian respondents say Iraq is better off now than before the invasion.

Iraq in the Short Term

Gallup asked Britons about Iraq's prospects for peace and democracy one year down the road. Britons are evenly divided on the topic -- the April survey shows 50% of Britons say a democratic government in Iraq is likely in the next year, and 47% say it is unlikely. By way of comparison, in a February 2005 survey, 64% of Americans said it is very or somewhat likely that a democratic government will be established in Iraq in the next year, while 35% said it is unlikely.

Britons and Canadians are pessimistic about the prospects for peace and security in Iraq in the next year. Just 25% of Britons and 19% of Canadians say Iraq will be secure by then.

Iraq in the Long Run

Gallup also asked respondents in Great Britain and Canada about the likelihood for peace and democracy in Iraq in the next five years. In Canada, 51% consider it likely that a democratic government will be established in Iraq in the next five years, while 47% think it is unlikely. British respondents are marginally more optimistic about the prospect of a democratic Iraq in the next five years, with 56% believing it likely and 40% thinking it unlikely.

In Great Britain, 34% think it is likely that there will be peace and internal security in Iraq five years from now -- somewhat more than the 25% of Britons who think there will be peace and security in one year. About 3 in 10 Canadians (29%) think peace and security are likely in five years, again somewhat more than the 19% of Canadians who expect peace and security in Iraq in one year.

*Results in the United States are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Feb. 4-6, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup USA.

Results in Canada are based on telephone interviews with 1,006 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 11-17, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup Canada.

Results in Great Britain are based on telephone interviews with 1,012 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 5-18, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup UK.

Get Articles in Related Topics:


Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/16666/Peaceful-Democratic-Iraq-Britons-Canadians-Gauge-Prospects.aspx
Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030