Snap poll: 72% of English people back Prime Minister’s plan to return to lockdown

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
November 01, 2020, 2:19 PM GMT+0

Three in ten still don’t think the measures go far enough

Yesterday evening prime minister Boris Johnson announced plans to put England in a new coronavirus lockdown, similar to that the nation went through at the beginning of the crisis in March.

A snap YouGov poll, conducted last night and this morning, reveals that almost three quarters of English people (72%) support returning the country to lockdown, including 42% who say they “strongly support” doing so. Fewer than one in four Britons (23%) oppose the move.

The result does show signs of lockdown fatigue when compared to earlier in the year. When the first lockdown was announced fully 93% of English people were in support, including 76% who said they “strongly supported” the measure. Back then, just 3% were opposed.

This drop in support is highest among the young. A relatively low 59% of 18-24 year olds back the new lockdown, down from 88% in March. One in three young people (32%) are opposed. By comparison, support is 70% among 25-49 year olds (down from 91%) and 77% among those aged 65 and above (down from 98%).

The new lockdown will commence on Thursday, assuming that MPs give their support in a vote on Wednesday.

English people are split on the scale of the measures. The most widely-held view is that the government has got the balance about right (41%), but 30% think the measures announced still don’t go far enough in tackling the problem, and 20% think they go too far.

Labour voters are split between thinking the measures are about right (39%) and not thinking they go far enough (41%). Conservative voters are much more likely to think the measures are about right (48%) than either of the other options.

Most English people (73%) tend to think it’ll be easy enough to follow the new rules for the next four weeks. Only 19% think it will be hard work.

This is actually a more optimistic view than first lockdown, when 67% of English people thought it would be easy to follow the rules. This could indicate that the experience of going through the first lockdown has reassured many English people about their capacity to get through this next one.

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