With Boris Johnson considering placing England under national lockdown measures, what ever path the he chooses he will face a backlash. Sage scientists are pushing for tougher measures while anger is growing in the parliamentary party over the prospect of a further clampdown. So, what of public opinion?
New polling for Coffee House by Redfield & Wilton Strategies looks at the public response to the government’s coronavirus strategy. It’s not particularly pleasant reading for the government. The poll – made up of a sample of 3,000 questioned on 28 October – found that 35 per cent surveyed thought the government was currently taking the right measures to address the coronavirus pandemic, with 46 per cent saying they are not – and 20 per cent undecided.
As for hopes of a return to normality, there is an expectation social distancing will be in the UK for a long time to come. Only 21 per cent asked expect to be allowed to an event of over 50 people this coming spring, with 79 per cent saying they do not think this will be allowed. Expectations over when social distancing restrictions may end altogether are mixed: the most popular view, held by 19 per cent, is that they will no longer be in force by the end of 2021, while 17 per cent believe they will end sometime in 2022.
The poll makes slightly more pleasant reading for the Chancellor. Asked about the economic response, 41 per cent surveyed agreed that the UK government has made sound financial decisions for the economy, with 28 per cent saying they disagree. However, with a shift in coronavirus strategy in the offing the picture could change very quickly.