Obama and Putin - the most influential politicians in recent polls

US President Barack Obama has taken first place and Russian Prime Minister Putin has come in second as the world’s most influential politicians.

According to a poll conducted by the Harris International Service in a number of Western countries, Barack Obama leads with 82 per cent of the vote, while Vladimir Putin got 62 per cent.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev received 42 per cent in the poll, which was conducted in a representative sample of more than 6,000 people in five leading Western European countries, as well as the United States.

However, British PM Gordon Brown did not get as much support as expected, since the UK normally occupies top positions in such surveys. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (almost 62%) and French President Nikolas Sarkozy (about 57%) came ahead of Brown (around 52%).

Harris International also asked the respondents who, in their view, is currently the most popular politician. The result was not unexpected, as Barack Obama again came first with 77 per cent of the votes. Second came the Dalai Lama (75 per cent) and third was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (62 per cent).

The popularity vote, however, was not so successful for the Russian Premier. Vladimir Putin only came 13th.

The least popular politicians, according to the poll, are Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Libya’s leader Muammar Al-Gaddafi and Chinese President Hu Jintao.