With Boris Johnson reported to want to ease the lockdown slowly in the hope that doing so will prevent the need for another, he faces a growing backlash among the Tory MPs who make up the Covid Recovery Group. But what about voters? So far, polling has suggested that the public are generally supportive of social distancing and restrictions – often claiming they would like the rules to go even further.
A new poll for Coffee House by Redfield and Wilton – with a sample size of 2,000 – saw the public quizzed on the current lockdown, restrictions and vaccines. For now, there appears to be majority support for the current government restrictions with 62 per cent saying the restrictions are more helpful than harmful to society, compared to 24 per cent who think they are more harmful than helpful.
Although Boris Johnson insisted again this week that lockdown measures will be looked at in mid-February to see whether they can be eased, few expect them to be. Only 25 per cent think the current level of restrictions will be relaxed within a month from now. Overall, 70 per cent think the current level of restrictions will be relaxed within three months from now. As for how many people need to be vaccinated before there can be a substantial easing, both the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock have suggested that decision is a matter for debate – one the country should have before making any firm decisions. The poll suggests there is as of yet no clear consensus.