Olympics 2012: The Torch route

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
May 25, 2011, 8:12 PM GMT+0

As the build up to the London 2012 Olympics continues amid excitement over the recently-announced route that the Torch will take once it touches down on our shores, YouGov has asked the British public if there’s anywhere they think may have been missed off the 'overnight stop' list. We drew up a list of 25 British towns and cities, some of which are genuine torch destinations and others which are not, and gave respondents a random selection of 14 choices, asking them to say whether the given place should be a stopping point or not.

  • One place currently not on the official tour schedule but which was widely felt should be, was the Isle of Wight, which 60% of Brits felt should be honoured with a stop
  • Other popular, but, alas, not-to-be stopped in places included Bath (58% thought the Torch should stop there), Warwick (56%), Winchester (53%), Bournemouth (52%) and Harrogate (51%)
  • However, of the other places on our list not scheduled for a stop, the public didn’t feel especially strongly about the decision, with only 48% thinking the Torch should stop in Colchester, Preston (48%), Berwick (45%) and Grimsby (45%)
  • Meanwhile, Hull, which DOES appear as a stop on the Torch schedule, garnered only 49% in favour of a visit, the only scheduled stop on our list to receive less than 50% support

The Olympic Torch relay route will begin on 19th May 2012, lasting 70 days. After a tour of the UK, carried by over 8,000 torchbearers, including in parts of Northern Ireland, it will travel around London boroughs before arriving in time for the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, on Friday 27th July.

Lord Coe, chairman of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said he ‘wanted the Torch to go to people’s doorsteps’ and noted that during its trip, the Torch will ‘come within a one hour journey of 95% of people in the UK’.

A search for the 8,000 torchbearers, over 7,000 of which will be deserving and ‘inspirational’ members of the public nominated by friends, family and their community, has been launched. Coe added, ‘This is a great occasion to give someone you know, who has made a difference…a chance to shine’.

Deserving of a stop or not? The main results from our Olympic Torch route poll