Public support for strikes slips as 2024 begins

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
January 08, 2024, 11:34 AM GMT+0

Backing for strikes by medical professions in particular has fallen since August 2023

With the junior doctors’ strike entering its sixth day today, a new YouGov poll shows that public support for several striking professions has declined since the summer.

While the survey – conducted on 3-4 January, when the current strike was getting underway – shows that Britons still side with junior doctors by 50% to 43%, this represents a nine point decline in support since August.

Train drivers – who are also still actively disputing with Network Rail – have likewise seen diminishing support in the latter half of 2023, falling five points to 37%. Most Britons (54%) are opposed to train drivers’ strikes.

With TfL strikes affecting the London Underground having been narrowly averted last week, the results show that only 34% of Britons support strikes by this group, with 44% opposed. Unlike the other results, this does not represent any notable change since the previous survey.

The findings are drawn from a wider list of professions who have taken or threatened strike action at some point during disputes lasting back to 2022. While some of these professions are no longer taking industrial action, the results show similar drops in support for prospective strikes by ambulance staff (-9), senior doctors (-8) and nurses (-7), as well as postal workers (-7), rail workers (-6) and teachers (-6).

See the latest results here and tracker results here

Photo: Getty

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