More Americans consider Great Britain, rather than Canada, to be the United States' top ally, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

The telephone survey of 1,023 adults found that although Canada is the United States' most important trading partner, 36 per cent of respondents believe Great Britain to be their country's "most valuable ally."

Canada ranked second, earning top spot from 29 per cent of respondents, with Japan, Israel and Germany rounding out the top five.

The poll's results were released on Tuesday, the same day that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited U.S. President Barack Obama for the first time since Obama was sworn into office.

The poll's findings may reflect the close ties forged between the U.S. and Great Britain over the last several years. Former British prime minister Tony Blair became one of former president George Bush's strongest allies, particularly after he pledged troops to the Iraq war.

Indeed, in a March 2007 Gallup Poll that asked Americans to assess Blair, respondents gave him a 65 per cent approval rating.

However, the new poll found that 40 per cent of respondents had never heard of Brown, while 29 per cent said they did not know enough about him to have an opinion about him.

While Americans overall may not consider Canada to be their country's most important ally, Canada was more popular than Great Britain among certain segments of the U.S. population.

Thirty-five per cent of Democrats said Canada was the United States' most valuable ally, compared to only 26 per cent of Republicans. As well, Americans living in the Midwest, whose home states are close to the Canadian border, are more likely to consider Canada rather than Great Britain as the United States' top ally.

And generally speaking, Americans still have a very favourable opinion of their neighbours to the north.

Ninety per cent of Americans gave Canada a favourable rating, including 39 per cent who gave Canada a "very favourable" rating. Eighty-nine per cent of Americans gave Great Britain a favourable rating.