We aim to contribute to urgent public debates and policy practice on the UK’s phased response to COVID-19. We take insights from our respective disciplines -political science, political behaviour, crisis management theory, international relations and political psychology - intending to understand what drives public support for and compliance with social distancing measures, how the pandemic disproportionately affects different social groups, and what are the public preferences on balancing public health with economic considerations and security with freedom.

This report is based on a survey conducted by the independent opinion research agency, Deltapoll. It was formed in 2017 by Martin Boon and Joe Twyman, two of the UK polling industry’s most respected and high profile pollsters. Martin spent 23 at ICM, where he held board responsibility for all political and public opinion; Joe was EMEA Head of Political Research at YouGov for 18-years. Deltapoll is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. It also operates under the Market Research Society Code of Conduct.

The survey was administered online to a representative sample of the UK population (n=2,100) between April 10 and April 15, 2020. At the time, the UK was entering its fourth week of lockdown and Prime Minister was recovering in intensive care from Covid-19. Changes in the policy context or the discursive marketplace are likely to impact heavily on crises evaluations and public attitudes. We are aspiring in future work to map the evolution of public attitudes in the UK over time, and study their drivers, controlling for contextual


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Karyotis, G., Collignon, S., Connolly, J., Judge, A. & Skleparis, D. 2020, 'Pandemic Politics in Lockdown Britain: Questionnaire and Descriptive Statistics', Pandemic Politics: Political Attitudes and Crisis Communications, 26 April. Available at: https://research-portal.uws.ac.uk/en/publications/1aeced28-4be5-431e-a0ac-092d00328a7a

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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