10 February 2016

Achtung Deutschland! Atencion Espana! 53% of Americans see UK as best ally


As the new British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, begins his work he can take a lot of comfort from his inheritance from his predecessor Sir Peter Westmacott and, er, Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Margaret Thatcher, Adele, Queen Elizabeth II, David Beckham, Lady Grantham, Lady in the Van and… you get the point!

Although there’s a lot of angst in London about how elite opinion in Washington currently views the UK – because of defence cuts, because of George Osborne’s outreach to China, because of the closeness of 2014’s Scottish vote, and because (at least amongst State Department types) nervousness at the prospect of Britain leaving the EU – the latest YouGov First Direct panel survey should offer some comfort about mainstream America’s continuing affection for “Great” Britain.

A majority – 53% – think Britain remains America’s “best ally in the world”. The tourist industry can lick its lips at the finding that 48% think the UK is “a great place to visit”. And despite Hollywood’s tendency to cast British actors as bad guys  we find that 42% of Americans regard the UK as a “cultural powerhouse” – producing good music, TV and movie stars. Cool Britannia lives!

The full results are in the graphic below.

britain special relationship

For more about Portrait of America and the methodology behind First Verdict, click here.

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Tim Montgomerie is Editor of Portrait of America