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Government approval has dropped, but most are still following advice

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Julian Dailly EVP 26/05/2020

Coronavirus daily tracker: May 26th 2020

Despite the scorching Bank Holiday weather on Monday afternoon, many will have been glued to their televisions to watch not one, but two news broadcasts from Number 10 Downing Street

Overall government approval has dropped below zero to -2%, a significant 16-point loss in just one day.

The first was a statement from the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser, Dominic Cummings, who has been chastised by the public and British media after allegedly breaking lockdown rules in March.

A daily news briefing from Boris Johnson followed, where he laid out plans for non-essential retail shops to reopen in mid-June, providing they are able to meet protection guidelines.

How did this go down with the public?

It seems the government’s attempt to allay the public’s concerns didn’t go down as well as they might have hoped. In fact, overall government approval has dropped below zero to -2%, a significant 16-point loss in just one day.

Calls for the Chief Adviser’s resignation have been ignored, with several members of the cabinet outspokenly backing his actions, including Boris Johnson himself. The Prime Minister’s approval rating has suffered over the past few days and is now at -1%, having dropped from +19% four days ago and 25+ a fortnight ago.

Most are still following the government’s advice

Despite outrage at what people consider to be a major flouting of the rules, there is still a high level of compliance among the public. Four in five (78%) say that they are still following most or all of the government’s advice to stay alert and control the virus.

However, people aren’t as worried as they were. Perhaps the lack of repercussions for Dominic Cummings has made people feel less concerned about their own actions, as our daily coronavirus tracker data shows that worry is at its lowest level since we began tracking ten weeks ago (35%).

Are things slowly going back to normal?

From just once a day, we are now allowed outside as many times as we want. The Prime Minister has given the green light for some businesses and shops to open as early as June 1st. Offices are announcing dates and plans to reopen. And the days of panic buying toilet roll, pasta and rice are behind us, with the most people since lockdown begun saying that they have seen no empty shelves in the supermarket (65%).

In theory, the country looks set to embark on its plan to restart, but whether the government can continue to hold on to its authority and navigate us through the crucial few weeks ahead remains to be seen.

We will be updating our coronavirus tracker daily and weekly as this unprecedented pandemic unfolds. Please get in touch for more information.

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