Approval of government handling of coronavirus sinks to lowest level

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
June 03, 2020, 6:20 PM GMT+0

Most Britons now say the government is doing a bad job of managing the crisis

Following the furore over the actions of Dominic Cummings over the last two weeks, and the government’s response, public approval of the way the powers that be are handling the coronavirus crisis has fallen to its lowest level yet.

There is now a 15-pt margin between the 56% of Britons who say the government has done a bad job of managing the outbreak and the 41% who believe it has done a good job. The survey was conducted from 27-29 May, prior to the most recent loosening of lockdown regulations.

The week before the gap had been 6-pts, with 45% giving a positive response and 51% a negative one.

It seems a lifetime ago that the government was actually basking in the adulation of the public for its management of the crisis. Approval figures peaked in late March, with 72% saying the government was doing well and only 21% badly.

Crossover occurred in mid-May, by which point 47% of Brits thought the government were doing a good job and 49% a bad one.

Brits think the national coronavirus situation is getting better, but it seems to bring them little consolation

Britons nevertheless seem to think the coronavirus crisis is easing despite the government. When YouGov first asked in early May, 63% said that they thought the COVID-19 situation was getting better – that figure has since risen to 76%. Likewise, over the same time period the proportion thinking it is getting worse has fallen from 20% to 11%.

This hasn’t alleviated concerns that Britons have about the impact of the disease though. Our tracker has only detected very marginal differences in the number of people who are afraid that they or their friends and family will be seriously sick or even killed by the disease; their finances will be damaged or they will lose their job; their children’s education will suffer; or that there will be long-lasting harm to society.

See our COVID-19 tracker data here

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