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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Iraqis' optimism falls - survey
US soldier
The US-led coalition appears to be less welcome among Iraqis
Optimism about the future among Iraqis appears to have fallen in recent months, according to a survey.

Of 3,002 Iraqis asked if they expected life to be better in a year's time 56% said yes, down from 71% in February.

The poll also suggests 31% support attacks on coalition forces - up from 17% in February.

The poll was published to coincide with the handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government. It was conducted between 19 May and 14 June.

On the invasion of Iraq, 56% of those questioned think it was the wrong thing to do, but 38% thought it right. That compares with the previous survey with 49% backing the war, and 39% opposing it.

Changing views

There is little apparent change, however, in opinion about the ongoing presence of coalition troops.

1 Those who said life was now very good or quite good
2 Life is much/somewhat better than before the war
In the latest survey, 40% supported their presence with 55% opposing it. In February 39% backed the troops being there with 51% wanting them out.

Asked if their view of the US-led coalition had changed in the past two months, 42% said it had remained the same but 33% said their view had become more negative.

Of those who said their views had become more negative, a third quoted prisoner abuse and one in 10 cited the attacks on Falluja and holy cities as their reason.


A total of 59% said they were surprised by news of human rights abuses by US soldiers and 48% thought it was done by "fewer than 100 people".

A total of 16% of those questioned thought the US-led coalition was a liberating force, 10% described it as a "peacekeeping force" but 51% see it as an "occupying force" and 18% as a force that "exploits Iraq".

There was optimism about the security situation in Iraq which 54% thought would improve after Monday's handover of sovereignty and 76% after an elected government took over in January 2005.

69% of those questioned said no priority should be given to "dealing with members" of the previous regime.

  • The survey was carried out by Oxford Research International. It consisted of in-person interviews conducted between 19 May to 14 June, 2004 with a random, nationally representative sample of 3,002 Iraqis in 228 randomly selected sampling points across the country.

    The BBC's James Robbins
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    28 Jun 04  |  Middle East

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