In Brief

Coronavirus polls: how Brits are feeling about new lockdown rules

Just one in five voters believe Downing Street has a strategy for tackling the pandemic

Most people in the UK believe the government “has no clear plan” for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a poll conducted following Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new three-tier lockdown system. 

Only 20% of voters now think that Downing street has a strategy to tackle coronavirus outbreaks in Britain, while 64% of almost 3,000 adults quizzed by YouGov yesterday believe there is no plan, with the remaining 16% undecided.

The widespread disapproval of the government’s handling of the crisis is split across party lines, with 81% of Labour voters convinced that No. 10 has no strategy, compared with 54% of Tory supporters.

But even among Conservative voters, confidence in the government is low, with fewer than four in ten (37%) telling the pollsters that they do think Johnson and his team have a clear plan.

The new three-tier system for lockdowns has been met with fierce resistance from many political leaders in the North, who say they were left out of key planning discussions. The plan also been savaged by Labour leader Keir Starmer, who yesterday accused Johnson of losing control of the pandemic “long ago”.

And many voters seem to share that view. The latest results from YouGov’s government approval weekly tracker, from 5 October, shows 55% of Brits disapproving of Downing Street, with just 27% approving.

In late March, the government’s approval rating was as high as 52%.

But fast-forward to last week and Starmer continued to lead Johnson in the latest YouGov/Times “best prime minister” question, with 33% of respondents quizzed on 6 and 7 October backing the Labour leader, compared with 29% who still favour the current PM for the top job.

There is some good polling news for the Conservatives, however. Latest voting intention figures, also from last week, saw the Conservatives retake their lead over Labour, at 41% to 38%. 

In the week beginning 28 September, both parties were polling neck-and-neck at 39% each.

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