According to a recent Gallup poll, the governments of the US and UK are facing significant decline in public trust compared to their G7 counterparts. The poll revealed that just about a third of the populations in both countries have confidence in their respective governments.
The US fared the worst among the G7 nations, with only 31% of poll respondents expressing trust in their government in 2022. The UK, on the other hand, slightly outperformed the US, with 33% expressing confidence. However, among those who approved of their leadership, the UK had the lowest national confidence level in the world, tied with debt-ravaged Lebanon.
Interestingly, when Gallup began asking about national confidence in 2006, the US and UK were leading the pack, with 56% of Americans and 49% of Britons expressing faith in their leaders. However, over the years, this confidence has seen a significant decline. While Washington hit its lowest point in 2013 with only 29% confidence, public trust in the UK reached its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis just last year.
The decline in public trust can be attributed to several factors, notably the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both countries imposed economically devastating lockdowns that were later found to have no scientific justification, leading to disillusionment among the public.
Furthermore, the US and UK have recently witnessed their former leaders facing criminal or civil investigations. Former US President Donald Trump has been impeached twice and now faces criminal charges for taking classified documents when he left the White House. Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned in disgrace after being embroiled in a series of scandals, including breaking his own lockdown rules. The so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal ultimately led to his resignation from his role as a Member of Parliament.
The decline in public trust is not limited to domestic sentiment alone. Global approval of the Biden administration in the US has also dropped, with only 41% of global respondents approving of the administration in 2022, a four-point drop from the previous year, according to Gallup.
In contrast, the other G7 countries have experienced an improvement in public trust. Germany, which had the lowest confidence level among G7 nations in 2006, with only 32% of residents expressing trust in their government, now leads the chart with 61% confidence. Italy has also seen a significant increase in confidence among its residents, almost doubling since 2019 to 41% in 2022. France, Japan, and Canada have also witnessed an improvement in their trust ratings since 2006.
The declining public trust in the US and UK raises concerns about the stability and effectiveness of their governments. Rebuilding public trust will be crucial for these nations to regain confidence in their leadership and navigate the challenges ahead.