Just 31% of Britons think the government is doing the right amount to help Ukrainians come to the UK

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
March 24, 2022, 9:26 AM GMT+0

Only one in ten are proud of the government’s efforts to date

The government’s ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme has already been met with criticism as those willing to host Ukrainian refugees struggle with a “chaotic” visa system and further delays. Concerns have also been raised over a lack of organisation and support for those hosting refugees, while others are worried the scheme is open to exploitation by traffickers. This comes amid general disappointment with the government’s handling of the Ukrainian refugee crisis thus far, with many calling on the government to step up its efforts.

New YouGov research shows Britons remain broadly of the opinion the government is not doing enough to help those trying to reach the UK from Ukraine, although opinion has shifted in recent days.

Two-fifths of Britons (43%) now think the government is not doing enough to enable refugees from Ukraine to come to the UK. However, this is down 14 points since 8-9 March, with this previous survey conducted before the Homes for Ukraine scheme announcement.

The proportion of those thinking the government is doing about the right amount to help Ukrainians come to the UK is up 12 points, from 19% to 31%.

Six in ten Labour voters (62%) think that the government is not doing enough to assist Ukrainians coming to the UK, versus 18% who think they are doing about the right amount. Elsewhere, Conservative voters tend to think the government is doing the right amount (50%), although 29% want the government to do more.

YouGov's research also shows that Britons generally want Ukrainians to be able to come to the UK more easily. However, this is split between 33% (-6 since the previous poll) who think it should be easier for all Ukrainians to come to the UK, and 39% (no change) who think eased restrictions should only apply to those with family already here.

Another 13% of Britons (+2) think that no Ukrainians should get special treatment in seeking refugee status in the UK.

Labour voters tend to favour making special provisions for all Ukrainians (47%) rather than just those with family here (32%). Conservative voters think the process should only be made easier for Ukrainians with familial connections in the UK (51%) rather than all of them (23%).

Britain is seen as doing less to help Ukrainian refugees than its European allies

Britain has granted visas to around 10,000 Ukrainians since the conflict began. Meanwhile, Poland is taking in five times that number of refugees per day – with over two million Ukrainians now believed to be sheltering there.

This disparity is not lost on the public – 43% think the UK is doing less than other European nations to accommodate refugees. While that proportion is down 11pts on the previous survey, those who think the UK is doing about the same amount as other nations stands at only 25% (+6). One in ten Britons (+3) think the UK is doing more than other European countries.

Labour voters are clear in thinking other nations on the continent are doing more than us (62%) to help Ukrainians fleeing the war. Conservative voters are split between 35% who think the UK’s efforts are on par with its allies, and 32% who think we are doing less than they are.

Ultimately, just one in ten Britons (+3) are proud of the government’s current attitude towards refugees fleeing Ukraine. Three times as many Britons (31%, -8) are embarrassed of the government’s efforts. A further 46% (+3) are neither proud nor embarrassed.

Half of Labour voters (51%) say they are embarrassed by the government's attitude to the situation, with only 6% proud of it. Conservative voters are not as likely to say they are embarrassed (16%), but aren't proud overall either (19%), with most instead being ambivalent (59%).

See full results here

Explore more data & articles