Olympics still good for London

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
June 22, 2011, 7:56 PM GMT+0

Londoners are feeling less positive now about the benefits the upcoming Olympic Games will bring to the capital than they did when the bid was won, but a majority still thinks that the Games will be good for London overall, our tracking poll has found.

  • In 2002, 78% of London adults felt that holding the Olympic Games in London would ensure that the capital would have better sports facilities in the years following the event
  • But at the beginning of this month, only 50% felt the same way
  • In 2002, 40% thought that the Games would encourage more British people to take up sport and improve their health
  • Now, only 33% agree
  • Faith in London’s public transport system is also slightly down, with 45% of London adults in 2002 saying that the Games would ensure that the city’s transport links would improve
  • Compared to 40% agreeing now (and 42% who disagree)

Despite the declining figures, however, Londoners still feel generally optimistic about the effect of the Games on the capital as the opening ceremony approaches. 57% say that, taking everything into account, the ‘Games will be good for London generally’. Only 29% disagree.

Torchbearers and tickets

The London Olympic Games begin in 401 days, with excitement already building over those who will carry the Torch as it travels across the entire country. The Olympic Organising Committee has launched a campaign asking members of the public to nominate 8,000 outstanding and inspirational members of their community to be ‘Torchbearers’ in the 70-day relay, which will stop in many major UK towns and cities on a route designed to take the flame ‘within an hour of 95% of people in the UK, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey’.

The Games have not been without controversy, however, with millions of applicants missing out on tickets following the random public ballot held to allocate places. Olympic athletes themselves, as well as many organisers and other leading sporting figures, have been among those not managing to secure tickets, with only one or two tickets reserved for athletes’ family members, and all others hoping to attend having to enter the public ballot along with everyone else. High-profile figures have not been exempt, with London Mayor Boris Johnson among those disappointed.

Today is the first day that applicants for tickets find out the events for which they have secured places, with the remaining tickets going on sale on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis from Friday this week.