Coronavirus: UK lockdown supported by 93 per cent of public, poll finds

Public also support police powers

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Tuesday 24 March 2020 10:54 GMT

There is almost unanimous support for the coronavirus lockdown measures imposed on Monday night, a snap poll has found.

YouGov says 93 per cent of people support the plan unveiled the by the prime minister, with just four per cent opposed and the rest saying they do not know,

Voters are however slightly more divided on whether staying at home will be easy or hard, with two thirds saying it will be easy, and 29 per cent hard.

The findings come as a separate poll, also conducted by YouGov, found 82 per cent of voters would support police having the power to arrest or prosecute anyone who should be self-isolating but isn’t.

The government has said people can only leave their homes for one of four reasons: infrequent shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, medical assistance and helping a vulnerable person, or travelling too and from work where it cannot be done at home.

Even when following the guidance people should stay two metres away from each other at all times, government guidance says – and seek to minimise the amount of time they spend outside their homes.

All social events such as weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have also been banned – though funerals, attended by immediate family only, will be allowed.

The poll said 75 per cent strongly supported the measures, with 17 per cent saying they “somewhat” supported them.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said if people do not follow the rules, the police will “have the tools to ensure they are penalised and punished if they put others’ lives at risk”.

The public are evenly divided on 39 per cent on whether the current police powers will be enough to enforce the rules.

There was little difference in support for the lockdown measures between supporters of different political parties, age groups, or social grades. It was also evenly spread across the regions, YouGov said.

Labour has welcomed the lockdown, which it was calling for ahead of its introduction. The UK is one of the last states in Europe to introduce such restrictive measures.

Ahead of the prime minister’s address to the nation on Monday night, Mr Johnson’s popularity ratings had surged to +20, up from -2 the previous week. The chancellor Rishi Sunak had experienced and even greater popularity surge, up to +49 from +8 two weeks ago and -6 at the end of February.

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