Public opinion on coronavirus – 12th March

As the nation (and much of the world) locks down to contain the spread of Coronavirus, Opinium will be conducting regular research to understand how people are managing, what they are doing to cope and what they think of how the government are handling things.

Here are the results of our first wave:

Broad approval of government’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis

Broadly speaking the government is perceived to be handling the crisis well. Just over two in five (44%) approve of the government’s handling of the Coronavirus epidemic, while only 30% disapprove.

Similarly, 41% have confidence in the Government’s ability to handle the Coronavirus situation as it continues to develop, while a third (32%) do not.

However, in London, where there are the most cases, 41% disapprove of the government’s handling of Coronavirus. Only 30% approve of the government’s handling.

Londoners think the government has underreacted to the crisis

Despite the broad national approval of how the government has handled the crisis, in other ways the public are a bit more divided. For example, there is still a divide about whether the government is doing enough. Although Two in five (41%) think the government has reacted proportionally, while a similar proportion (40%) think they have underreacting.

In London the proportion who think the government is underreacting is as high as 55%, while only a third (32%) think the government has acted proportionately.

Three quarters worried by Coronavirus

Coronavirus is beginning to have a serious impact on the public. Almost three quarters (73%) are worried about Coronavirus.

At the end of this week just under half (47%) of UK adults now think Coronavirus will have a negative impact on their personal finances, up from 34% at the beginning of the week.

Four in five (80%) think Coronavirus will have a negative impact on the economy.

Two in five (42%) think it is likely that they will catch Coronavirus, and 46% think a close family member will catch it. Half (51%) of workers think a colleague will catch it.

Tables and report

Full data tables

See the full report here