More than half of Britons do not trust Government’s lockdown reopening strategy, poll finds

The public is sceptical about the Government‘s safety claims when it comes to reopening the economy following the lockdown, a new poll has found.

More people think the Covid-19 crisis has been handled badly than well in the UK, with the Government receiving most of the blame, according to the same study.

The King’s College London and Ipsos MORI research showed that 52 per cent of the public does not trust the Government’s advice on when it is safe to start to return to work, school or leisure activities.

That is compared with 45 per cent of people who do.

By 42 per cent to 36 per cent, the public is more likely to think the pandemic has been handled badly than well.

There is a split along party lines when it comes to the Government’s role, with 2019 Labour voters (60 per cent) three times more likely than 2019 Conservative voters (21 per cent) to say it has been mismanaged.

According to those who think the crisis has been handled badly, 70 per cent blame the Government, 65 per cent think the Prime Minister is responsible and 55 per cent believe it is down to members of the public not following the rules.

The study is based on 2,237 interviews with people aged 16-75, and was carried out online between July 17 and 20.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said Boris Johnson and his Government “are the focus of blame”.

He added: “People see the UK public as a key reason it’s gone well – and a key reason it’s gone badly, showing how varied an image we have of how different people have followed the guidelines, or not.”

Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, said party loyalty seemed to play a role in how people think the Government has performed.

She added: “It’s very much back to politics as usual when it comes to how Britons feel Covid-19 has been handled, with those who voted Labour in 2019 far likelier to say that the Government or the Conservative Party are at fault than those who voted Conservative in 2019.”


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