UK's support for Games has dropped, says poll


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Support for the Olympic Games among the UK population has fallen significantly since London first won the bid in 2005, according to new figures published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Seven years ago, 71 per cent of adults were either slightly supportive or strongly supportive of the Games. Now, with less than a month to go before the Opening Ceremony, that figure has fallen to 62.9 per cent. The two London boroughs where the majority of the Games are taking place remain the most supportive areas of the country.

The DCMS acknowledges the marked change in economic climate since 2005 may have affected people's attitudes. When London won the Games, the Government said they would cost £2.4bn (although that estimate did not include many vital factors, including security) and the country was at the peak of economic growth. Now, by contrast, the bill for hosting the Games has reached at least £9bn, while Britons feel the pinch of a so-called age of austerity.

Black and ethnic minority respondents, in comparison with their white counterparts, said they were more motivated to do sport, voluntary work or cultural activities as a result of the UK winning the bid.

A BBC poll said that Londoners are more supportive of the Games, but more than half fear the transport system will not be able to cope.