British Public More Likely to Prefer Biden as US President

June 30, 2020
Foreign Policy | USA Elections

Last week, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies polled the UK public and found that only 13% of UK respondents would vote for Donald Trump if they were eligible to vote in the upcoming US Presidential Election, less than those who said they would not vote at all (17%). More than twice as many (33%) UK respondents said they would vote for Joe Biden. Around a quarter (27%) said they don’t know who they would vote for. A very small minority said they would vote for Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party or Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, suggesting that the Presidential Election would still be a two-horse race if the UK public were eligible to vote. Notably, nearly half of respondents said they did not know how they would vote, or that they would not vote.

 

An earlier poll conducted by us in April found that in a straight contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, around half (51%) would vote for Biden and only 15% would vote for Trump. A small 6% said they would vote for other candidates, 13% wouldn’t vote at all, and 15% were unsure. Joe Biden is still the most popular candidate with UK respondents, although his lead over Donald Trump has decreased and more people are unsure as to who they would vote for if they could. It is important to note that in our most recent poll, Jo Jorgensen and Howie Hawkins were included as candidates whereas the poll in April included them in the ‘other’ category.

The US is one of the UK’s closest allies and the strength of the alliance could be affected by whoever holds the keys to the White House come November. A strong plurality (43%) do not know who as President would make the best ally for the UK, but almost twice as many (31%) think Joe Biden’s America would be a better ally to the UK than Donald Trump’s America (16%). Joe Biden was also significantly ahead of Trump in the April poll, which posed a straight contest between Trump and Biden.

Following Brexit, the United Kingdom is now seeking new trade deals outside of the European Union, and the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK will make a US-UK trade deal a priority. However, the strength of the UK-US alliance will be affected by the outcome of November’s Presidential Election. The British public would not vote for Donald Trump if they were eligible to, nor do they think he would be the best ally for the UK. Donald Trump was unpopular with UK respondents in April and he’s still unpopular now.

Nevertheless, whether this perception will affect what sort of trading relationship the British public is willing to accept with the United States remains to be seen. The purported ‘sale of the NHS to Donald Trump’ was a risk touted by the opposition parties in the December 2019 election, although both the President and the Conservative Party dismissed the possibility of such a trade. Given the high number of respondents who say ‘don’t know,’ it is not yet obvious which candidate will make possible a US-UK relationship that is most amenable to the British public. After all, many members of the public may be willing to put their personal preferences aside, when they see a deal or a relationship whose terms appear favourable to them. 

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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