Ipsos-MORI have released a new poll for the Associated Press on the trial of Saddam Hussein, conducted across 9 different countries.

While other polls have consistently shown support for the war in Iraq declining in the UK, people continue to believe that Iraq is better off that it would have been under Saddam – 52% think the people of Iraq are now better off, while only 29% think they are worse off. These views seems to be somewhat unusual in the rest of Europe though. While opinion in Canada is almost identical to the UK, and in the USA 68% of people think Iraq is better off without Saddam, across the rest of Europe people tend to think that Iraq was better off with Saddam: in France 32% think Iraq is now better off, 41% worse off; in Germany 38% think Iraq is better off, 42% worse off; in Spain only 18% think Iraq is better off, with 47% thinking it is worse off. Italy is the is other exception, where 43% think Iraq is better off and 25% think it is worse off.

Britons, Americans, Canadians and Italians are also the most confident that Saddam Hussein is receiving a fair trial – 62% of British people think Saddam is being fairly tried, compared to 24% who think he is not. People are less confident in France and Germany (44% and 51% respectively think the trial is fair) and the Spanish are the least confident of the European countries – only 27% think Saddam is receiving a fair trial compared to 36% who think he is receiving an unfair trial. Respondents in South Korea and Mexico, the other two countries polled, were also more likely to think that Saddam was receiving an unfair trial.

Finally Ipsos asked whether Saddam should receive the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty. America was the only country where a majority (57%) supported the death penalty, in Britain, Canada and France 38% supported the death penalty for Saddam, 34% in Germany, 26% in Mexico, 25% in South Korea, 20% in Italy and 14% in Spain.


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