The British people support calls for a change in the law to ban strikes by public sector workers after a low turnout in ballots approving industrial action, according to a Savanta ComRes survey for The Independent. They also think trade unions will not win public sympathy if they stage co-ordinated strikes.
By a margin of 50% to 32%, people agree that the Government should ban public sector strikes unless there has been a turnout of at least 50 per cent in the strike ballot. A legal minimum turnout is favoured by the London Mayor Boris Johnson and some Tory MPs and ministers. By 55% to 26%, people believe that public sector workers will not get public sympathy if they hold co-ordinated strikes.
However, the poll also found some support for the unions’ position in their battle with the Government over reforms to public sector pensions. By 49% to 35%, people agree that the workers have a legitimate reason to strike, and people believe, by 46% to 35%, that the Government would be wrong to change public sector pensions if most workers affected oppose them.
A big majority (78%) agree that it is unfair for low paid public employees to pay the price for mistakes made by bankers before the financial crisis, while 12% disagree.
According to Savanta ComRes, Labour enjoys a four-point lead over the Conservatives. Labour is on 40% (up 3 points since the last Savanta ComRes poll), the Tories on 36% (down 1 point), the Liberal Democrats on 11% (no change) and other parties on 13% (down 2 points).
Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,059 GB adults online between June 24-26 for their views on the proposed strikes. It telephoned 1,003 GB adults about their voting intention. In both cases data were weighted by past vote recall. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.