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3 Jul, 2023 21:11

Poll reveals industrialized world’s least-trusted government

US and UK are in decline compared to their G7 partners, whose public image has improved
Poll reveals industrialized world’s least-trusted government

The governments of the US and UK are trusted by just about a third of their respective populations, placing them dead last among the G7 countries, according to a Gallup poll published on Monday.

The US performed worst among the G7, with just 31% of poll respondents saying they had confidence in their government in 2022. The UK fared slightly better, with 33% expressing confidence – but among those who had approved of their leadership, national confidence there was rated the lowest in the world, tied with debt-ravaged Lebanon.

In 2006, when Gallup began asking about national confidence, the US and UK led the pack, with 56% of Americans and 49% of Britons expressing faith in their leaders. But while Washington bottomed out in 2013 with just 29% confidence, public trust in the UK only just collapsed last year to its lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008.

Public trust has suffered dramatically in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, when US and UK leaders imposed economically devastating lockdowns that were subsequently found to have no scientific justification.

Both countries have also recently seen their previous leaders face criminal or civil investigations. Former US President Donald Trump was impeached twice and now faces criminal charges for retaining classified documents when he left the White House – while his party points the finger at his successor Joe Biden for allegedly taking bribes. UK PM Boris Johnson resigned in disgrace after a string of scandals that began when he was caught drunkenly flouting his own lockdown rules; the so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal would ultimately hound him out of his MP role last month as well. Nor did his departure lead to stability – the UK has had four prime ministers in as many years.

Even as confidence in the US government fell among Americans, outside approval was slipping too, with just 41% of global respondents approving of the Biden administration in 2022, a four-point drop over the previous year, Gallup found.

At the same time as the US and UK were losing voters’ confidence, the rest of the G7 countries enjoyed a rebound in public trust. Germany, which trailed nearly every other G7 nation in confidence in 2006 with just 32% of residents putting their faith in Berlin, now tops the chart with 61%. Italy has seen confidence among residents nearly double since 2019, when it hit a low of 22%, to 41% in 2022. France, Japan and Canada all saw their trust ratings improve since 2006 as well.

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