The World Loses Confidence in Global Leaders, according to the first and oldest Global Survey “End of the Year” Gallup International


It is often said that during times of uncertainty we need our leaders to ‘step up’ – history looks back fondly on Winston Churchill, on Nelson Mandela, on Mahatma Gandhi and many others.  Yet while we witness global business leadership (Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, Bill and Melinda Gates etc.), the latest survey from Gallup International, the world’s longest running global polling agency, reveals that negative attitudes towards our main political leaders across the world are growing.

The survey carried out in 57 countries across the globe shows that although maintaining a positive image across the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while grabbing top spot as the most positively evaluated leader (net score +20%), lost 6% compared with a year ago.  Last year’s number one – President Emmanuel Macron of France – has had his favourability on the global stage fall significantly (from +21 to +6%).   Both European leaders of course have also faced significant challenges at home in the last year.

US President Donald Trump remains unchallenged at the bottom of the ranking with a net score of -28%, while Russian President Vladimir Putin lost 16% of the positive views he was gathering last year. Putin’s favourability in his own country is also in decline, driven often by economic challenges at home.

However, as with last year, Pope Francis remains the most trusted leader in the world with a net score of +28 (although even he lost points on last year).

Full results are available here – Gallup International – Global Survey 2018

Kancho Stoychev, President GIA:

Tensions across the world are growing and leadership is in crisis almost everywhere. Are those tensions growing because of bad leadership or is bad leadership leading to growing tensions is not a productive question. Many point out that the gap between elites and masses is reacting intolerable levels and post WW2 global order is following apart. Mistrust in politics and political systems is on the rise and the fundamental question is not about how to find better representation of the will of the people but how the people can control their elected representatives more effectively. More direct democracy may be the answer which means that the right thing to ask is how to achieve it following recent negative experiences with the French referendum on the EU constitution, the Dutch one after it and the Brexit challenge”.

Methodology, Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

The Gallup International End of Year Survey (EoY) is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by the Gallup International Association and partners in 57 countries around the world, representing the population of all G20 countries (except China) and about 57% of the global population.

Due to political, cultural or religious specifics some survey questions are not asked in all countries.

The question on political leaders was polled in 45 countries across the globe among a total of 46 952 persons. In each surveyed country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face, via telephone or online. The margin of error for the survey is between 3% and 5% at 95% confidence level. The field work was conducted during October 2018 – January 2019.

EoY Survey Regions Coverage:

  • EU Total: Combines EU West and EU East sub-groups (n=13 615)
  • EU West: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK (n=7 510)
  • EU East: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Hungary (n=6 105)
  • Non-EU Europe: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine (n=9 461)
  • USA (n=1 045)
  • Canada (n=600)
  • India (n=1 001)
  • Russia (n=1 000)
  • Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay , Peru (n=5 526)
  • East Asia: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Vietnam (n=6 400)
  • West Asia: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey (n=5 671)
  • Middle East: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia (n=5 351)
  • Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa (n= 2 815)
  • Australia & New Zealand (n=2 039)

About Gallup International

Gallup International Association (GIA) is the leading association in market research and polling and this year celebrates its 72nd anniversary.

For over 70 years Gallup International Members have demonstrated their expert ability to conduct multi-country surveys on a comparable basis and deliver the highest quality. Their Members are leading national institutes with a profound local knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical sources, customs and culture differences of its own country and carefully selected by the Association Board. With only one Member agency per country, Members work together on a daily basis to share knowledge, new research techniques and tools, as well as to provide the most appropriate solutions to international research projects and service our clients to the best of our abilities. GIA has over 50 members and conducts research in over 100 countries.

End of Year Survey 2018 Participants

(GIA Members and Partners presented in alphabetical order)

Country Vendor Company Sample size Fieldwork Dates Method Representativeness
Row %
AFGHANISTAN ACSOR-Surveys 1 763 15-25.10.2018 F2F National 18+
ALBANIA Be Research LLC 1 040 08-18.11.2018 CAPI National, 18-65
ARGENTINA Voices! Research & Consultancy 1 002 02-15.10.2018 F2F, CAPI National, 16+
ARMENIA MPG LLC 1 111 17-22.11.2018 CAPI National, 18+
AUSTRALIA Roy Morgan Research 1 028 13-14.12.2018 CAWI  National
AUSTRIA Österreichisches Gallup Institut 1 000 22.11-03.12.2018 CAWI National, 14+
AZERBAIJAN SIAR Research and Consulting Group 507 12.11.-04.12.2018 CATI National, 18-64
BRAZIL Lightspeed Research Limited 800 14-21.01.2019 CAWI National, 18+
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA Mareco Index Bosnia 1 000 05-18.11.2018 CATI National, 18+
BULGARIA Gallup International 1 053 02-09.11.2018 CAPI National, 18+
CANADA Lightspeed Research Limited 600 14-21.01.2019 CAWI National, 18-65
COLOMBIA Centro Nacional de Consultoría 1 000 14-17.12.2018 CATI National, 18+
CZECH REPUBLIC MARECO Ltd. Praha 1 500 14.11-03.12.2018 F2F National, 18+
ECUADOR CEDATOS 700 26.11-16.12.2018 F2F National, 16+
FINLAND Taloustutkimus Oy 1 134 07-11.12.2018 CAWI National, 15+
FRANCE BVA 1 000 23-29.11.2018 CAWI National, 15+
GEORGIA GORBI 1 008 18-25.11.2018 CAPI National, 18+
GERMANY Österreichisches Gallup Institut 1 000 03-07.12.2018 CAWI National, 16+
GHANA Candino Global 500 20.11-03.12.2018 CAPI Urban, 18-64
HONG KONG CSG (Consumer Search Group) 505 28.10-21.11.2018 Online National, 18+

End of Year Survey 2018 Participants – Contd.

(GIA Members and Partners presented in alphabetical order)

Country Vendor Company Sample size Fieldwork Dates Method Representativeness
Row %
HUNGARY Österreichisches Gallup Institut 1 000 10-20.12.2018 CAWI National
INDIA Impetus Research Pvt. Ltd 1 001 22.10-30.11.2018 CATI National, 18+
INDONESIA Deka 1 040 14-25.11.2018 F2F 5 big cities, 18+
IRAQ IIACSS 1 000 03-28.11.2018 CAPI Urban, 18-65
ITALY DOXA 1 072 16-30.11.2018 CAPI National, 15+
JAPAN NRC (Nippon Research Center) 1 155 01-13.11.2018 F2F National, 15-79
JORDAN MRO 1 000 29.10-20.11.2018 F2F National, 18+
KAZAKHSTAN BISAM – CENTRAL ASIA 1 400 22.11-11.12.2018 F2F CAPI Urban, 18+
KOSOVO Be Research LLC 978 06-18.11.2018 F2F National, 18+
LATVIA SKDS 1 005 29.11-05.12.2018 CAWI National, 18-75
LEBANON MRO 1 000 29.10-20.11.2018 F2F National, 18+
MACEDONIA BRIMA 1 212 22.11-06.12.2018 F2F, TAPI National, 15+
MEXICO BRAIN 500 10-14.12.2018 Online Urban, 18-64
MOLDOVA CBS – AXA S.R.L., I.M. 600 10-20.10.2018 CATI National, 18+
NETHERLANDS Motivaction International B.V. 503 15-19.01.2019 Online National, 18-70
NEW ZEALAND Roy Morgan Research 1 011 13-14.12.2018 CAWI National
NIGERIA Market Trends International 800 28.11-05.12.2018 F2F, TAPI National, 18+
PAKISTAN Gallup Pakistan 1 000 13-20.10.2018 F2F National, 18-65
PERU DATUM Internacional 1 009 09-14.11.2018 CAPI National, 18-70
Country Vendor Company Sample size Fieldwork Dates Method Representativeness
Row %
PHILIPPINES PSRC 1 000 06-20.11.2018 F2F, PAPI National, 18+
POLAND MARECO POLSKA 1 017 20-30.10.2018 F2F, PAPI National, 18+
REPUBLIC OF KOREA Gallup Korea 1 500 08-28.11.2018 F2F National, 18+
ROMANIA TNS CSOP 530 15-29.11.2018 CATI National, 18-64
RUSSIA Romir 1 000 28.11-02.12.2018 F2F National, 18+
SAUDI ARABIA Mashora House for Public Opinion Polls 1 836 10-19.12.2018 CATI National, 15+
SERBIA TNS Medium Gallup 1 012 20.10-04.11.2018 F2F, TAPI National, 18+
SOUTH AFRICA Freshly Ground Insights (FGI) 1 515 23.10-29.11.2018 Online National, 18+
SPAIN SIGMA DOS 800 14-15.12.2018 CATI National, 18+
SWITZERLAND Opinion Plus 1 000 12-17.12.2018 Online panel National, 15+
SYRIA Syrian & Levant Market Compass 515 22.11-13.12.2018 F2F National, 18+
THAILAND Infosearch 600 05-30.11.2018 F2F National, 18+
TURKEY Barem 991 01.11-07.12.2018 CATI National, 18+
UK ORB International (Opinion Research Business) 1 001 07-10.12.2018 Online National, 18+
UKRAINE Romir Ukraine 500 30.11-04.12.2018 Online Urban, 18+
USA Survey Monkey 1 045 06-07.12.2018 Online panel National, 18+
VIETNAM Indochina Research 600 05-23.11.2018 F2F, CAPI Urban, 18-64


Cover Photo by licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.