Little support for Syria intervention

Little support for intervening in Syria

Last week the Prime Minister failed to persuade a majority of MPs to vote for British military intervention in the ongoing crisis in Syria. While he only just failed to convince them, it appears he will have a much harder time trying to convince the public.

Our research finds a large 60% of the public opposed military action in Syria, with fewer than 1 in 4 adults in support. Still, the government should not mistake this as being in favour of doing nothing at all about Syria, an option which is even less popular than military intervention (14%). Instead, the public?s most preferred course of action appears to be tightening the diplomatic screws and stepping up economic sanctions (48%).

To some extent, the non-starter that military action seems to have been with the British public is not too surprising if seen in the context of previous experiences. 6 out of 10 thought that the UK?s previous involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya had made them less likely to support intervention in Syria. This may help explain why a full invasion gets support from only 2%.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 1,942 GB adults aged 18+ from 28th to 30th August 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

This survey is conducted online by CAWI (computer aided web interviewing), using Opinium?s online research panel of circa 30,000 individuals. This research is run from a representative sample of GB adults (aged 18+ in England, Scotland and Wales). The sample is defined from pre-collected registration data containing gender, age (18-34, 35-54, and 55+), region (North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West, Wales, and Scotland), working status and social grade to match the latest published ONS figures.
Opinium also takes into account differential response rates from the different demographic groups, to ensure the sample is representative.