London 2012: 100 days to go

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
April 18, 2012, 10:58 AM GMT+0

Interested in the Olympics? YouGov compares views from the British public and Londoners as the Games draw closer

  • Londoners are split over whether they're interested in the Games
  • In the country as a whole, more people say that they aren't interested than say they are
  • Most British people, both in London and elsewhere, think that the Games will be good for London generally

Londoners also broadly agree with those living elsewhere in Britain when it comes to major aspects of the Games, including that sports facilities in the capital will be improved for years to come, our poll results for both the London Evening Standard and The Sunday Times have found.

  • 48% of Londoners say that they are interested in the Games, while 49% say they aren't
  • 45% of British people generally say that they are interested; 53% say they aren't
  • 47% of Londoners say that, all things considered and with the benefit of hindsight, London should have bid to host the 2012 Olympics; but 42% say the capital should not have bid
  • 49% of British people as a whole say that with all things considered and in hindsight, London should have bid; but 40% say that the city should not have done

Good for London?

  • There is moderate agreement across the board that the Olympic Games will be good for London generally (51% of Londoners, 53% of British people as a whole)
  • However, significant minorities (32%) of Londoners and the rest of the country (30%) disagree that the event will benefit the city
  • But both Londoners (51%) and the general public (55%) say that having the Olympic Games in London will improve the sports facilities of the capital for years to come

Games: Not good for transport or sporting habits of public

There is consensus that the Games will not improve London's public transport system, while people in both London and elsewhere are similarly sceptical that the Olympics will encourage more people to take up sports.

  • Just 35% of Londoners say the Olympics will improve the transport network (versus 49% who disagree) while just 29% of Britons generally think the capital's public transport will improve (compared to 46% who disagree)
  • 51% of Londoners disagree that the Olympics will encourage more people to take up sport and improve the nation's health, as do 55% of the public in general

Londoners: Ticket disappointment

  • Londoners are marginally more likely than people living elsewhere to say that they are disappointed with how tickets for the Games were sold (with 69% of Londoners agreeing that they are disappointed, versus 61% of Britons in general)

Games: Not good 'for people like me'

But while Londoners are by no means all feeling that the Olympics 'will be good for people like me', they are much less likely than people in the rest of the country to actively disagree with the idea.

  • 55% of Londoners disagree with the statement the 'Olympics will be good for people like me', but 28% agree
  • 64% of Britons as a whole disagree that the 'Olympics will be good for people like me', compared to 20% who agree

100 days to go

With just 100 days to go until the opening ceremony on 27th July brings the Olympic Games to the capital, London is gearing up to receive not only the gaze of the global media but also the deluge of expected visitors and tourists to the city in honour of the event.

Preparations have seen alterations being made to the city's travel networks ‒ such as on the Underground system ‒ as well as an increase in tourist-friendly signage, and the introduction of 'Games Lanes' during the event to allow easy access for people travelling from the city centre to the Olympic Park in Stratford – a previously rather neglected part of East London that has seen massive regeneration since the construction of the Olympic and Paralympic complex, including a shopping mall, improvements to sports and station facilities, the surrounding natural environment, and rail transport networks.

'London at its best'?

But while our poll shows that Londoners and Britons are generally in agreement that the Games will be 'good for London', this opinion is by no means uniform, with significant minorities both across the capital (32%) and the rest of the country (30%) disagreeing that the event will benefit the city.

Indeed, media reports have variously suggested that the capital may struggle to deal with the influx of people during the summer, as well as debating the Games' alleged 'legacy'; while tensions are still simmering over last year's ticket ballot controversy, which led to many people feeling that they had unfairly missed out on seats.

Despite criticism over many aspects of the logistical juggernaut that is the Games, however, organisation committee Locog Chair Lord Coe has stated that he is confident that the event will be an all-round success, and says he 'wants to show London at its best'.

He told the BBC today, 'I don't think I've ever witnessed a level of excitement at this level in so many different countries for what we're doing. One hundred days has got that ring of "it's here".'