In January, YouGov conducted new research looking at what the British public thought the most likely causes of human extinction might be. At that time, nuclear war (43%), climate change (42%) and a pandemic (30%) were seen as the three most likely causes of our annihilation.
But following the outbreak of war in Ukraine and renewed questions about the nuclear threat posed by Vladimir Putin, new data shows the British public have become far more likely to see nuclear war as a top probable cause of human extinction. Six in 10 Britons (61%) now think nuclear war is one of the most likely ways the human race will end, a rise of 18 points since our prior survey on 21-23 January. All other causes remain effectively unchanged, leaving climate change in a distant second at 41%.
Similarly, support for the government developing contingency plans to prepare for nuclear war as an existential threat has risen eight points (now up to 87%) – a rise that was not seen in any of the other contingency plans asked about in our survey.
See full results here