These are the 10 most important people of 2019, according to Brits

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg attends a news conference during COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain, December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg is on the list of the most important people of 2019, but was beaten to top spot by Donald Trump (Reuters/Juan Medina)

Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump have been named as the most important people of 2019.

The US president topped the table of a poll to find the person who had the biggest impact on the world in 2019, followed in second place by teenage climate change activist Ms Thunberg.

YouGov Omnibus asked its panellists about the most important person of the year as part of a poll about 2019, including the year’s best and worst events, people’s favourite actors and the best music acts of the year.

Nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) said Mr Trump had had the great impact on the world in 2019, followed by Thunberg with 18% of the vote.

In third place was David Attenborough (15%) followed by prime minister Boris Johnson, with 9% of the vote.

The top 10 list also included China’s president Xi Jinping; Russian president Vladimir Putin, UK politicians Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage and Theresa May, and entrepreneur and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The naming of Thunberg, who was also declared TIME person of the year, ties in with other results from the YouGov poll, which saw growing interest in climate change named the “best development in the world in 2019”, gaining a quarter of the vote (26%).

Slightly more controversial, the 2019 UK general election result, which saw the Conservatives gain a majority across Britain, was in second place with 15% of the vote.


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Other highlights included Donald Trump’s impeachment, progress towards Brexit, protests in Hong Kong and Extinction Rebellion protests.

Sporting events also put in a strong appearance as highlights of 2019, with the Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Women’s Football World Cup also among the list.

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The poll also named the 10 worst things to happen in 2019, according to Brits.

Topping the table is terrorist attacks across the world, with 18% of people naming them as the worst event or development in the world in 2019.

On November 29, two people died after convicted terrorist Usman Khan went on a rampage in London after being released on licence from prison in 2018.

The incident sparked controversy across the UK over the early release system.

Second on the table of worst incidents of 2019 was forest fires in the Amazon rainforest, which in August were branded an “international crisis” by French President Emmanuel Macron.

In third place was knife crime in the UK, which reached record highs in 2019.

The general election result may have featured in the best developments of 2019 but also put in an appearance on the worst list, with 8% of people choosing it as the worst event or development in 2019.

Other “worsts” in the table included bushfires in Australia, the rise of nationalism, increasing climate change, treatment of the Hong Kong protesters and flooding in the UK.

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