Data Journalist

Only 13% of Brits say they sympathise with climate protesters involved in platform scuffle after protests targeted commuters at Canning Town tube station in East London

Despite support from a third of Brits earlier in October, Brits say they sympathise more with delayed commuters after a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion protestors took to the roof of a London Underground train in Canning Town – resulting in the activists being forcibly dragged down by commuters.

In early October, the group revealed plans to “shut down” London for two weeks with disruptive protests, with protests in Westminster, Trafalgar Square and the Mall among other locations.

YouGov Daily Polling showed that in the first week of October, 37% of Brits supported the actions of Extinction Rebellion to some extent, with one in eight Brits (12%) strongly backing the protests. Half of Britons (53%) said they opposed the action to some extent however, a third (33%) of the public were strongly opposed.

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In the second week of October, as the protests continued, opinions remained unchanged for Extinction Rebellion, with a third (36%) still supporting the group and half (54%) opposed to their actions.

However with regards to the attempted shutdown of Canning Town tube station and resulting scuffle between activists and commuters, 60% of Brits say they have more sympathy for the delayed commuters as opposed to the climate protestors. 

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Only 13% of Brits said they had more sympathy for the climate protesters in Canning Town, and another 14% of Brits say they have no sympathy for either of the groups.

In terms of locals, 16% of Londoners said they had greater sympathy for the Canning Town protesters, Sympathy for the group among young Brits, who are the strongest supporters of the wider Extinction Rebellion group, was also low. In the second week of October 41% of 18 to 24 year olds said they supported the shutdown to some extent. However, only 23% said they sympathised more with the Canning Town protesters than the commuters.

Similarly, among Labour voters, 55% backed the group in the second week of October but only 22% said they had more sympathy for the protesters at Canning Town than the commuters.

Image: Getty

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