Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second national lockdown for England to prevent what he described as a “medical and moral disaster” for the NHS.
Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for almost four weeks from Thursday but unlike the restrictions implemented across March and April, schools, colleges and universities can stay open. The PM said he hoped restrictions would be eased and regions would go back to the tiered system after December 2nd.
Snap polling by YouGov shows that English adults overwhelmingly back the measures announced last night. 72% to 23% said they support new the lockdown restrictions, with 42% saying they strongly support them. While 41% said they got the restrictions about right, 20% said they went too far and 30% said they didn’t go far enough. Most (73%) said they would find the restrictions easy to follow but a notable 19% said they would find them hard.
2,258 English adults were questioned between 31st October and 1st November 2020. All of those surveyed were questioned after the Prime Minister had finished speaking.
The result does show signs of lockdown fatigue when compared to earlier in the year. When the first lockdown was announced fully 93% of English people were in support, including 76% who said they “strongly supported” the measure. Back then, just 3% were opposed.
This drop in support is highest among the young. A relatively low 59% of 18-24 year olds back the new lockdown, down from 88% in March. One in three young people (32%) are opposed. By comparison, support is 70% among 25-49 year olds (down from 91%) and 77% among those aged 65 and above (down from 98%).
The new lockdown will commence on Thursday, assuming that MPs give their support in a vote on Wednesday.
English people are split on the scale of the measures. The most widely-held view is that the government has got the balance about right (41%), but 30% think the measures announced still don’t go far enough in tackling the problem, and 20% think they go too far.
Labour voters are split between thinking the measures are about right (39%) and not thinking they go far enough (41%). Conservative voters are much more likely to think the measures are about right (48%) than either of the other options.
Most English people (73%) tend to think it’ll be easy enough to follow the new rules for the next four weeks. 19% think it will be hard work.
This is actually a more optimistic view than first lockdown, when 67% of English people thought it would be easy to follow the rules. This could indicate that the experience of going through the first lockdown has reassured many English people about their capacity to get through this next one.