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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 12:04 GMT
Iraq poll March 2007: In graphics
Interview

An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC and other major media groups has provided a revealing insight into the everyday lives, hopes and fears of people living in Iraq.

READ THE FINDINGS

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It is the third Iraq poll conducted for the BBC since 2003 and now includes regional and ethnic breakdowns of responses with Sunnis and Shias holding diametrically opposing views on a large number of issues.

QUALITY OF LIFE

The poll of 2,212 people from across Iraq suggests an increasing pessimism and feeling of insecurity since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Iraq poll

In 2005, democratic elections were taking place and many Iraqis thought things were better than before the 2003 conflict and were hopeful about the future.

Much pessimism appears to stem from the fact that life is not noticeably improving for many people with rising dissatisfaction about the availability of jobs, clean water, electricity and the freedom to choose where to live without persecution.

Some Iraqis blame their politicians for the situation - 53% were dissatisfied with the way the Iraqi government was performing, compared with 33% in 2005.

Most think the US currently runs things in Iraq while there most believe Syria and Iran are actively encouraging sectarian vioelnce in the country.

Iraq poll

VIOLENCE

Since the end of the war in Iraq, thousands of civilians have died in violence on the streets. Support for the coalition forces based in Iraq is low - with 82% expressing a lack of confidence in them and 69% thinking they had made the security situation worse.

Iraq poll
Those polled were split as to whether attacks on coalition forces were acceptable - but a majority still believe they should remain in the country until security is restored.

In ethnic terms, Sunnis were more eager for troops to leave - with 55% saying they should leave now compared to 28% of Shia respondents.

The belief that the US-led coalition was wrong to have invaded Iraq in 2003 has steadily increased since 2004.

Only 2% of Sunnis questioned believed it was absolutely or somewhat right to have invaded, while 78% said it was absolutely wrong. By comparison, 70% of Shia respondents said the decision to invade Saddam Hussein's Iraq was absolutely or somewhat right.

Security remains a key concern. Asked whether they felt safe in their own neighbourhoods, 40% said yes in 2004, 63% in 2005 but only 26% in 2007.

Iraq poll

LEADERSHIP

Support for the return of a strong leader to lead the country for life or the establishment of an Islamic state have grown marginally while most still pin their hopes to democracy.

A strong leader is more popular than democracy to 58% of the Sunni population, although most accept Iraq will be a democracy in five years' time. Shia respondents were split 41% to 40% in favour of democracy over an Islamic state, but 52% think Iraq will be a democracy in five years' time.

Iraq poll

SADDAM HUSSEIN'S EXECUTION

The execution of Iraq's last strong leader, Saddam Hussein - himself a Sunni Muslim - also split the country over how appropriately it was carried out.

The divisions are stark when broken down along ethnic lines. Ninety seven per cent of Sunnis questioned thought the execution was carried out in an inappropriate manner compared with 17% of Shia.

Asked whether the execution was helpful in bringing about reconciliation in Iraq, 62% of Shia thought it would, while 96% of Sunnis thought it made reconciliation more difficult.

Iraq poll

REGIONAL DIVIDE

Iraq poll

Iraq was divided into four regions for the poll:

North: made up of the districts of Dahuk, Irbil, Nineveh, Sulaimaniya, Tamim;

Central: Anbar, Babil, Diyala, Salahuddin;

Baghdad

South: Basra, Karbala, Misan, Najaf, Muthanna, Qadisiya, Dhiqar, Wasit.

The results show that people in the northern and southern districts think things are good in their lives.

The majority of people in the central regions and Baghdad say life is quite bad or very bad.

How do you rate conditions where you live?
All North Central South Baghdad Shia Sunni
Security situation % % % % % % %
Very good 17 34 1 24 0 17 1
Quite good 30 28 20 45 20 45 6
Quite bad 21 16 26 19 23 24 23
Very bad 32 22 53 12 57 14 70
Availability of jobs
Very good 3 13 0 0 0 0 0
Quite good 17 28 11 17 15 20 4
Quite bad 44 31 50 46 47 45 50
Very bad 35 28 38 37 38 35 46
Electricity supply
Very good 2 3 0 2 0 1 0
Quite good 11 12 2 21 0 15 3
Quite bad 37 36 36 39 38 41 30
Very bad 51 49 61 37 62 42 66
Clean water supply
Very good 9 22 1 8 0 6 2
Quite good 22 35 8 31 0 22 12
Quite bad 35 22 45 32 49 38 39
Very bad 34 21 46 29 51 33 47
Local government
Very good 12 23 2 18 0 14 1
Quite good 31 32 27 34 38 45 8
Quite bad 31 25 35 30 31 27 41
Very bad 26 19 36 18 31 14 51
Freedom to live where choose
Very good 8 15 0 13 0 9 0
Quite good 15 26 3 24 0 17 4
Quite bad 39 32 44 37 43 40 42
Very bad 38 27 53 25 57 33 54
Source: BBC/ABC poll

Methodology: The poll was conducted by D3 Systems for the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today. More than 2,000 people were questioned in more than 450 neighbourhoods and villages across all 18 provinces of Iraq between 25 February and 5 March 2007. The margin of error is + or - 2.5%.






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