London, May 30: The Illinois Senator Barack Obama has emerged as Europe's favourite candidate for the American Presidency in a poll conducted on behalf of the Telegraph.co.uk. The poll gave Obama 52 per cent support across five of the world's richest nations, including Britain. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, received only 15 per cent of the vote in an unprecedented survey covering Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.
Obama has consistently opposed the Iraq War in the race for the Presidency. The poll also found a strong anti-American feeling in every country. The hostile opinion towards America has been steadily increasing throughout the Presidency of George W Bush, with the Iraq war probably being the single most important factor.
Bush's unpopularity seems to have affected the Republican Presidential candidates in general. This might explain why McCain, is the least popular potential President in all the countries surveyed. McCain is a strong supporter of the Iraq War. Obama is especially popular in Italy, where a remarkable 70 per cent, said they would vote for him if they could.
In France, where anti-American sentiment is the strongest, 65 per cent would back Obama. In Germany, the Democratic Senator would get 67 per cent of the vote - while McCain would receive only six per cent.
In Britain, a modest 49 per cent would vote for Obama, while 14 per cent would back McCain. Another 13 per cent of Britons would not vote for either man and 24 per cent opted for the "don't know" option.
Mr McCain can rival Obama's popularity only in Russia, where anti-American feeling is the strongest. The Republican appears to have made a striking impression on the Russians, with 24 per cent backing McCain, if allowed.
But the Telegraph poll found that only 16 per cent of the Russians see America as a "force for good" in the world. In Britain, the total was 33 per cent and in France, only 28 per cent. As recently as 2000, a global attitudes survey found that 83 per cent of Britons and 62 per cent of the French had a "favourable" view of America.
The survey was carried out online between May 23 and 29 by YouGov. The total sample was 6,256 (broken down into Britain 2,241; France 1,005; Russia 1,001; Italy 1,004; Germany 1,005).