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Pollwatch: A roadmap to normal

Chris Hopkins Political Research Director 24/02/2021

More than half of English adults are satisfied with the PM’s roadmap, but a similar proportion say its ‘cautious’

The latest snap polling by Savanta ComRes, conducted after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement to the House of Commons, looks at the English public's views on the Government's roadmap out of lockdown and towards the new normal.

Just one in six (17%) say that they are dissatisfied with the roadmap, although approaching half (45%) say that it’s ‘cautious'...

Some of the key findings from the poll:

  • More than half are satisfied with the PM’s roadmap; one in six are dissatisfied (52% vs 17%).
  • Approaching half (45%) say that it is cautious; 31% about right, 19% reckless.
  • Two in five (42%) say that reopening schools on March 8 is too early, while a similar proportion say it’s ‘about right’ (43%)

More than half (52%) of English adults say that they are satisfied with the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown that he set out yesterday, according to a new snap poll from Savanta ComRes.

Just one in six (17%) say that they are dissatisfied with the roadmap, although approaching half (45%) say that it’s ‘cautious’, compared to just three in ten (31%) who say the plans are ‘about right’ and one in five (19%) who say it’s ‘reckless’.

On the specific plans, two in five (42%) say that schools reopening on March 8 is ‘too early’, a similar proportion (43%) to those who say it’s about right. Despite this, approaching half (46%) support all pupils returning to schools, rather than a phased return for younger pupils or those studying for exams. A third (33%) oppose the plans to reopen schools for all.

For some plans the public feel that they’ll come too late, specifically non-essential retail reopening after April 12 (32% too late vs 19% too early) and close-contact personal services such as hairdressers (30% too late vs 23% too early).

But for almost all of the specific plans, between two in five and half (42-52%) of the public say the government is getting the timing about right, except for foreign holidays possibly being able to resume on May 17, which the public are more likely to say could come too early (44% too early vs 36% about right).

Of all of the specific restrictions tested, reintroducing the rule of six outdoors is the one the public are most looking forward to (17%), followed by reopening pubs, bars and restaurants (13%) and close-contact personal services and the prospect of foreign holidays (both 11%).

And the roadmap is deemed by the public to be ‘fair’ to the various sectors that will open up over the coming months, with 43% saying the roadmap is fair to the UK travel and tourism sector (vs 19% who say it’s unfair), and two in five saying it’s fair to pubs, bars and restaurants (40% fair vs 24% unfair) and non-essential retail (39% fair vs 23% unfair).

Methodology: Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,002 English adults aged 18+ online on 22nd February 2021. All fieldwork was conducted after the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons. Data were weighted to be representative of all English adults by age, sex, region and SEG. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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