London based online market research agency FlyResearch has been issuing weekly polls to its research panel of over 3000 people throughout the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, in order to project how the outbreak and the implementing of social distancing has been impacting the daily life of UK citizens.
Up until the 32nd week of the Covid-19 tracker survey [published on November 6 and sourced from data collected on October 30], The Leaders Council has been publishing a weekly review of the findings provided by FlyResearch managing partner, Greg Ward.
However, the tracker survey will now be conducted monthly as will each review of the findings, with Ward summarising how attitudes among the panel have changed over a four-week period. At least that was the plan but with the rapid changes prior to Christmas the poll was conducted after two weeks.
After the most recent poll back in early December, showed that the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine and the launch of the UK vaccination programme had proven to be a significant morale booster.
Offering his initial comments on the findings before presenting the data, Ward said: “Due to the government announcement of a new Tier 4 and change of Christmas rules, we decided to run the survey again two weeks after the last one and not wait a month. And we are glad we did, because what a stark change to the positivity of two weeks ago….’’
Wards opening line was reflected in the responses, as news of a new strain of Covid-19 and tighter restrictions across the UK contributing to a more pessimistic outlook as ‘’Feeling hopeful has gone down from 46% to 21%. Concern has gone up again from 39% to 58%. And those feeling angry is up from 21% to 36% and scared up from 12% to 25%! This is a major knock-back but we do hope that it is temporary and things will start looking up in the new year.’’
In a mirror shift in the way those polled are feeling about the general outlook the government is coming for similar criticism with the results saying “people are not very impressed with the last-minute announcements… The highest proportion ever, at 29%, are rating the government handling of the situation as ‘Distaster (1 out of 10)’ and their speed of response as much too slowly – 65%. It does seem that they waited too long to change the plans and it has affected multiple people, who are left with 10kg turkeys for 4. We fear that the marathon of prolonged turkey eating may last till the end of January at this rate!”
The implementation of a 4th tier also caused dismay amongst many of those polled and the poll returned the results that “35% of the survey respondents ended up in Tier 4, and in some parts of the country Tier jealousy took over. For example, only one part of Surrey – Waverly – remained in Tier 2 and smug about it, whereas the rest are in Tier 4 and feeling like second class citizens! In order to avert the civil war, the government did announce though that on Boxing day Waverly is also joining Tier 4!”
Ward said that “Despite a lot of grumbling, however, the majority consider the latest measures necessary, even in Tier 4 61% agree that though they are tough and disappointing, they are the right thing to do.41% would have preferred a longer, and more complete, lockdown before, so we could properly enjoy Christmas.”
After seeing the media reports of people rushing to leave London on the day of the Tier 4 announcement
“60% in Tier 3 or below think it is completely irresponsible of people to crowd onto trains from London to avoid Tier 4 and risk spreading the new variant. However, understandably, a lower percentage - 52% - from Tier 4 itself agree. In fact, 70% overall are worried about the new Covid-19 strain, likely because of the other countries taking it seriously and closing their borders to travellers from the UK.”
The poll closes with a real demonstration of how you will never get a 100% agreement on anything with “only a minority – 6% - think that we should all have the right to a decent Christmas and then lockdown in January for as long as it takes. So, this just proves, that really there are no right and wrong answers and the government are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.’’
Ward finished by saying that “We will run the survey again in the new year, but for now, stay safe, healthy and here is to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!”