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Pollwatch: One hot week in politics

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Simon Cereda Senior Consultant 14/08/2020

Savanta ComRes' Pollwatch is your regular digest of the latest political polling and research. Our in-house political research specialists are here to help you understand public opinion within the constantly evolving political landscape.

Our latest Pollwatch looks at the first week of Eat Out to Help Out, the Beirut explosions, test and trace, and the much debated re-opening of schools.

Those under the age of 35 were the most likely to have said that they took advantage of Eat Out to Help Out with nearly two in five (37%) of this age group having done so

Dinner on Rishi

Last week saw the launch of Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme that subsidises 50%, up to £10 per person, on dining out on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays through the month of August.

Our polling before the scheme came into action showed widespread backing with over half (54%) of Brits saying they supported it and the same proportion (53%) saying that the intended to make use of it at least once.

But what proportion followed through with their plans?

Three in ten Brits (29%) said that they did use the scheme in its first week, while two thirds (64%) said that they did not. Those under the age of 35 were the most likely to have said that they took advantage of Eat Out to Help Out with nearly two in five (37%) of this age group having done so. Just two in five of those aged 55+ said the same (19%).

Overall, of those who said that they did use Eat Out to Help Out during its first week, half said that they did so once (52%), over a third did so twice (36%), and around one in ten did so an impressive three or more times (8%).

Beirut explosions

In the wake of the explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday 4th August, we tested both the UK’s awareness of the tragedy and their views on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s proposed aid package of £5 million, as well as rescue workers and a Royal Navy ship.

There is a high level of awareness amongst the UK public of the events in Beirut with four in five saying that they were aware of what had happened and at least familiar with some of the details (80%), including almost a third who said that they were aware and familiar with all of the details (31%).

When asked if they supported the UK giving financial aid to Lebanon in order to help rebuild the damage caused by the explosions, Brits were more than twice as likely to support such measures (52%) as they were to oppose them (20%).

On the specific aid package announced by Dominic Raab, a third of Brits said that this response went too far (34%) while just over one in ten (14%) said it did not go far enough.

However, the Foreign Secretary will take comfort in the fact that two in five (42%) Brits said that his actions were just the right response.

Re-opening of schools and test and trace

What then do Brits feel about the contentious issue of opening schooling in September alongside the recent relaxation of the rules around pubs and restaurants?

It seems that Brits would be willing to forego their newly reintroduced privileges in favour of opening schools on time.

Given a binary choice between the opening schools or keeping pubs and restaurants open, opening schools is three times more popular (62% vs 19%).

Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,223 UK adults online between 8th-9th August 2020. For further details of our political polling, click here. If you are not subscribed to Pollwatch and want to join the mailing list, click here.