Pope Francis is world’s most popular leader, poll finds

Pope Francis is the most popular world leader according to a new opinion poll by WIN/Gallup.

The survey, taken by 1,000 people in 64 countries respectively, puts the popularity of the Pope above US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

Francis achieved a net score of +41 – the difference between favourable and unfavourable opinions – 11 points ahead of closest rival President Obama, who achieved +30.

Citizens in countries around the world were asked: “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of Pope Francis?”

Five out of 10 respondents (54 per cent) hold favourable views compared with 12 per cent unfavourable.

The regions where the Pope is held in highest esteem are perhaps unsurprising: his Latin American homeland, North America and Europe. Portugal has the highest number of individuals with a positive view of the Pope, followed by the Philippines.

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