Why Are Global Leaders Becoming Unpopular?

The most important reason for U.S. President, Joe Biden’s unpopularity is inflation, as the American economy has been widely affected due to the Russia - Ukraine war.

(Photo by Jacques WITT via Getty Images)
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gather for a photo of leaders of the G7 and invited countries during the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on May 20, 2023. (Photo by Jacques WITT via Getty Images)

An American political analysis firm called Morning Consult recently released data according to which most of the World leaders are becoming unpopular. The data consists of a list of twenty-five world leaders including the president of the United States, Joe Biden, the French President Emmanuel Macron, and Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The data becomes more influential as the year 2024 is the most important year for global democracy. There have been or will be elections in over 64 nations; nearly half of the world's population is voting this year.

In terms of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the least unpopular leader on the list with 16 per cent of disapproval; even though, according to World Inequality Lab, the income inequality rate in India is now way worse than under British Rule. Even in the Global Hunger Index, India stands at the rank of 111th out of 125 countries.

Recently, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD) jointly published a report according to which, Indian youth, who are educated, are expected to be unemployed rather than uneducated individuals.

What does the data say?

The data has been collected through a 7-day-long survey, contributed by the average adult population of each country. These numbers represent that most world leaders are becoming unpopular.

Here is the list of the leaders:

Name of the Leader Percentage of Approval Percentage of people with No Opinion Percentage of people who disapproved
Fumio Kishida (Japan) 17 14 70
Petr Fiala (Czech Republic) 17 7 76
Olaf Scholz (Germany) 22 5 73
Emmanuel Macron (France) 23 6 71
Jonas Gahr Store (Norway) 24 5 71
Yoon Seok-youl (South Korea) 25 5 70
Rishi Sunak (United Kingdom) 26 8 66
Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) 27 8 65
Mark Rutte (Netherlands) 29 6 65
Karl Nehammer (Austria) 30 7 63
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey) 34 9 57
Justin Trudeau (Canada) 35 6 59
Leo Varadkar (Ireland) 35 9 57
Ulf Kristersson (Sweden) 36 9 55
Alexander De Croo (Belgium) 38 17 46
Pedro Sanchez (Spain) 38 5 57
Joe Biden (United States) 39 7 54
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil) 43 8 49
Giorgia Meloni (Italy) 43 6 51
Anthony Albanese (Australia) 48 11 41
Donald Tusk (Poland) 50 10 40
Viola Amherd (Switzerland) 56 14 30
Javier Milei (Argentina) 62 4 34
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Mexico) 63 4 33
Narendra Modi (India) 78 6 16

What are the potential reasons for the unpopularity?

The potential reasons for the unpopularity of these leaders vary according to different demographic conditions.

According to the New York Times, the key reason for U.S. President, Joe Biden’s unpopularity could be attributed to inflation, as the American economy has been widely affected due to the Russia - Ukraine war. Interestingly, the U.S. market has seen an increase in the prices of goods; the central bank has also increased the interest rate on loans and credit cards, making the voters angry. The augmentation in the inequality rate is also affecting the popularity of the President. In many countries including the US, the income of the rich has grown whereas the income of the deprived has slightly decreased.

The refugee and immigration crisis is also one of the most important factors affecting the president's popularity. The immigration boom may have lots of advantages for the State’s economy, but US netizens believe that the immigrants are taking their jobs. Due to this, a situation of anti-incumbency has emerged.

The French President Emmanuel Macron stands with 71 per cent of disapproval on the list. The news organisation AFP proclaims him “isolated and unpopular”; as the president recently faced a huge protest against the government’s pension reform plan, which aimed to increase the age of retirement from 62 to 64. Similar to the U.S., he is also being held responsible for inequality with allegations of making policies that favor the wealthy and corporations. The fusion of unliked policies and his lost connection with the concerns of the general population is contributing to his declining popularity.

The disapproval rate of Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister is 66 per cent. He and his party faced allegations over the ‘Partygate’ affair scandal which was related to breach of the COVID-19 guidelines. Sunak took oath when the European economy was going through high inflation, soon after he faced controversies regarding the non-domicile tax status of his wife. The supporters of the Conservative Party often argue that he’s tackling issues that he got from previous administrations (The Conservative Party itself ran the previous administration). It is uncertain for him to regain popularity and lead his party in the upcoming elections.