The annual readers’ poll for Person of the Year closed on Sunday night with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi winning the voting hands down. The reader’s poll featured many world leaders, artists, and politicians, as they were pitched against each other to judge who was the most influential figure in 2016 in the eyes of the common people.
The ultimate decision for the Person of the Year is taken by the magazine’s editors, but the poll gives an insight on how the world views these figures. Clearly, Narendra Modi was selected to be the most influential of the lot, winning with a comfortable margin and an overall percentage of 18%. His closest competitors included Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Julian Assange, receiving 7% of the “yes” vote. Other prominent figures like Mark Zuckerberg (2%) and Hillary Clinton (4%) were also no match to the popular figure.
Modi’s rating has been going through the roof in the recent months, according to a September Pew poll, with the PM of the 1.2 billion people strong nation ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement. And although Modi did suffer some scrutiny after his decision to get rid of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, which hampered cash-based businesses and caused major inconvenience to the people, it seems as though that measure did not affect his popularity at all.
He is only the second Indian to win the award, with the leader of Indian Independence Movement, Mahatama Gandhi, taking the accolade in the year 1930.
Modi was found to be performing particularly well with voters from India as well as those in California and New Jersey. Last year, Bernie Sanders, the American Democrat presidential candidate, was chosen as the readers’ Person of the Year, while the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the title of TIME’s Person of the Year.
Every year since 1927 TIME has been selecting the most influential person of the year, for better or for worse, as the person or people having the largest global impact in the last year. Interestingly, even Adolf Hitler, the anti-semitic fascist, was selected for man of the year award in the year 1938.
TIME’S Person of the Year, a decision made by its editors, will be revealed on Dec. 7.