Britons keep calm in face of terror attacks

William JordanUS Elections Editor
January 08, 2015, 11:44 AM GMT+0

The deadly attack in Paris is so far having no effect on how safe British people feel from terrorism

Yesterday’s attack on the offices of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris has put governments abroad on high alert, with David Cameron calling a Cobra meeting to discuss the attacks this morning. It is suspected that extremists targeted the magazine because of cartoons it had published depicting the prophet Muhammad. Yet YouGov’s data tracking fears of a terrorist attack in Britain finds that even in the midst of wall-to-wall coverage of the shooting in Paris, there has been no spike in terrorism worries at home.

In a poll conducted after news of the attack broke yesterday afternoon, most rate the chances of themselves or someone close to themselves falling victim to a terrorist attack as very low (27%) or “almost non-existent” (28%).

The number who rate the chances of such an event as very or even fairly high is now 8%, showing little if any change from last September, when it was 10%, or May 2013, immediately following the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, South London, when it was also 10%.

Even directly following the 7/7 bombings in London, one of the deadliest terror attacks on British soil in modern history, fears were at just 16%.

Higher government approval

There has been significant change in how voters rate the effectiveness of the current coalition government in dealing with the threat from extremism and terrorism following the attack. Half the country (49%) now say the government has been effective, up from just 36% in September 2014. 37% say the government has been ineffective, down from 47%.

PA image

See the full poll results