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Sunday Mirror/Independent on Sunday Riots Poll

A public opinion poll on behalf of The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror.

Date Published: 12 Aug 2011

Categories: Politics | Public and communities | Social | UK



New poll finds that 50% of people think that Government spending cuts helped to fuel the riots, but confirms that most people want the most punitive response possible, and have a low opinion of the Prime Minister's handling of the matter. 

Full findings:

Government ministers failed to return to their desks quickly enough from holidays 

Agree: 61%

Disagree: 24%

David Cameron and the Government have handled the response to the riots well 

Agree: 29%

Disagree: 48%

Don’t know: 22% 

The Government's response to the economic crisis (eg, cuts to services, unemployment, reduced education funding) is helping fuel the rioters 

Agree: 50%

Disagree: 36%

There is a general trend by age here, with younger people more likely to agree than older people – 64% of 18-24 year olds compared to 40% of people 65 and over.

Plans to cut the police service in London by 20 per cent should be reversed immediately 

Agree: 70%

Disagree: 13%

Don’t know: 17%

Women (76%) are more likely than men (65%) to agree.  

There is no excuse whatsoever for the violent rioting and looting over the last few days 

Agree: 90%

Disagree: 5%

Older people are more likely to agree than younger people – 97% of people aged 65 or over agree, compared with 81% of people aged 18 – 24.   

David Cameron should bring in the army to support the emergency services 

Agree: 65%

Disagree: 23%

Women (69%) are more likely than men (60%) to agree. 

Government should impose curfews in areas where they believe there is likely to be further rioting 

Agree: 73%

Disagree: 17%

Again, women (77%) are more likely than men (68%) to agree.  

TV coverage of the riots helped fuel the disorder 

Agree: 59%

Disagree: 24%

Police should be allowed use to water cannon to disperse rioters 

Agree: 90%

Disagree: 6%

The police should be able to use tear gas if they feel it necessary to disperse rioters 

Agree: 82%

Disagree: 10%

The police should be able to use rubber bullets if they feel it necessary to disperse rioters 

Agree: 75%

Disagree: 16%


Social media like Twitter and Blackberry Messaging contributed to levels of violence and the ability of rioters to meet and plan disorder 

Agree: 83%

Disagree: 7%

Methodology: ComRes conducted an online survey of 2,008 GB adults on 10 and 11 August 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by its rules. 



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