First Principles, in partnership with SA public opinion research firm Frontline, fielded the South African component of the 2011 BBC World Service Country Poll.
“It’s clear that South Africans see China as an important economic partner, but the jury is still out
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on whether China’s influence will be mainly positive or negative,” says Louise Gardiner, Managing Director at First Principles.
See full Press Release below.
7 March 2011
Cape Town, South Africa
“Strong increase in positive perceptions of South Africa, says latest BBC poll in 27 countries”
In the year when South Africa hosted the World Cup, the proportion of people in 27 countries that positively rated its influence in the world rose significantly, from 35 to 42 per cent. This is one of the leading results – released today – from the latest BBC World Service Country Rating Poll.
The BBC World Service Country Rating Poll has been tracking opinions about country influence in the world since 2005. The latest results are based on 28,619 in-home or telephone interviews conducted across a total of 27 countries by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011.
Doug Miller, Chairman of GlobeScan, commented: ―The growing credibility of middle powers is the story this year, especially Brazil and South Africa.
Confirming last year’s observation, South Africa is particularly popular among its African counterparts. Positive views are the highest in Kenya (73%), Nigeria (67%), and Ghana (57%). In Egypt, a dramatic change of perceptions occurred, as positive views rose 26 points (40%) while negative ratings fell 14 points to 13 per cent, making the overall view shift from negative to positive.
Views are getting warmer in North America, with significant improvements observed in South Africa’s positive influence ratings in Canada (45%, up 9 points) and the US (50%, up 13 points).
In China, views have shifted since 2010 following a 22-point rise in negative ratings (41% in 2011), and the Chinese public is now divided. In Indonesia, close to four in ten rate South Africa positively (38%, up 7 points), and opinion has shifted from being divided to leaning positive.
The least favourable countries towards South Africa are Japan, Pakistan, and Russia (16%, 17%, and 19% positive views, respectively).
Overall, opinions in most countries improved slightly. “While last year relatively dour views of nations were prevalent—perhaps reflecting the mood of the economic downturn—the mood now seems to be relatively upbeat”, says Steven Kull, Director of PIPA.
South African perception of other countries:
The most positive views held by South Africans are towards USA and China (52% of South Africans feeling mainly positive in both cases) with the European Union following closely (50%).
The view of China is more likely to be polarised on positive/negative perception, because of the ongoing debate as to their motives, especially in the African context. North Korea and Israel are perceived to have a predominantly negative influence on world affairs.
The South African portion of the survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews between December 12 2010 and January 27, 2011, using a sample of 1,000 adult South Africans across all 9 provinces. Overall results are accurate to within 3.1 percent standard error at 95% confidence. Percentage values are rounded and therefore, where relevant, total of answers stacked may be slightly under or over 100%.
For media interviews with the participating pollsters, please contact:
Sam Mountford, Research Director
GlobeScan Incorporated, London
+44 20 7928 5368, (Mobile: +44 7854 132625)
Doug Miller, Chairman
GlobeScan Incorporated, Toronto
+1 416 969 3075, (Mobile: +1 416 230 2231)
Steven Kull, Director
Program on International Policy Attitudes, Washington
+1 202 232 7500, (Mobile: +1 301 254 7500)
Louise Gardiner, Managing Director
First Principles, Cape Town, South Africa
+27 21 701 0556, (Mobile: +27 72 615 9780)
GlobeScan Incorporated is an international opinion research consultancy. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is ISO 9001-2008 quality certified and a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in Toronto, London, San Francisco, and Washington DC. www.GlobeScan.com
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, undertakes research on attitudes in publics around the world on a variety of international issues and manages the international research project WorldPublicOpinion.org.
BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering international, national and regional services in 32 languages. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite, and cable channels. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com
First Principles is a sustainability research and advisory firm based in Cape Town, South Africa, and the South African agent for Globescan Incorporated. Fieldwork for the South African survey was carried out in partnership with Frontline Research, a full-house research facility adhering to SAMRA (South African Marketing and Research Association) and ESOMAR (the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research) standards. For more information, visit www.firstprinciples.org