62% of the General Public Support Mandatory Booster Jabs, According to YouGov Poll

According to a recent YouGov poll, 62% of the general public would support including the booster jab as a requirement under a vaccine passport scheme, which would prohibit those who haven’t received a booster jab from entering certain public venues, with only 25% expressing opposition to making the booster jab compulsory. In addition, 71% said that a booster jab should be mandatory, but only for those considered to be in a high-risk category who wish to enter public spaces such as restaurants. YouGov has more.

In the U.K, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that the Government was not looking at the idea yet but declined to rule it out altogether.

New research from YouGov reveals that the vast majority of people would support mandating a booster jab for not only the elderly or vulnerable but the wider population as well.

Overall, 69% of people would support making booster jabs a requirement for people aged 65 years old and over – including 45% strongly supportive of the idea. Only one in five people (21%) would oppose such an idea.

A similar 71% of the public would support a booster mandate for people considered to be at high risk from Covid who want to visit restaurants or use public transport.

Just shy of two-thirds of people (62%) would also support making booster jabs a requirement for the general public. This includes 36% who “strongly” support doing so. A quarter of people (25%) would oppose such a mandate on the general public.

It is the older generations who are most in favour of these mandates, even when they selectively apply to older people. Some 84% of those aged 65 years-old and over would support a requirement for people their age to have a booster before visiting public spaces. This compares to six in ten (60%) of people aged between 18 and 24 years-old who would also support such a policy.

This older age group are also the most likely to support a mandate on boosters for those at high-risk from Covid (86%) and a similar proportion would support one on the general public (82%). Only 48% of those aged between 18 and 24 years-old would support a booster requirement on the general public, with 34% opposed.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: A new poll from SavantaComRes has made a similar finding: 45% of U.K. adults would support an indefinite lockdown of the unvaccinated.

Poll Finds That 58% of the British Public Back Vaccine Passports

According to a recent poll, if the Government were to introduce ‘Plan B’ restrictions, 58% of the British public would support vaccine passport measures that would prohibit the unvaccinated from attending certain venues, such as restaurants. In addition, 33% back an Austria-style lockdown of the unvaccinated. The Sunday Times has the story.

Perhaps the real question is: has Britain made up its mind? For all the talk of ‘following the data’, Covid curbs are political decisions. And there is growing evidence that tougher Covid rules would not sit comfortably with the public.

At the start of the pandemic just 13% of people would rather protect the economy than limit the spread of the virus. By last week that was 36%.

At the same time, the number wanting to limit the spread has fallen from 74% to 42%. Despite weeks of headlines of NHS pressures, the gap between the two has shrunk since September.

“As Europe brings in Covid restrictions and some argue for the U.K. to follow, the British public are responding with something of a shrug and are broadly content with the status quo,” said James Johnson, who carried out the polling for Kekst CNC.

If Johnson did decide to introduce ‘Plan B’, it might not be unpopular: 58% would support banning unvaccinated people from bars, restaurants and other public venues unless they had a negative test. Yet Britain would draw the line at Austria-style measures, with just 33% wanting to lock down the unjabbed.

Amid rising European rates, the British public remains optimistic: 48% expect the NHS to cope well this winter, compared with 41% who say it will do badly. That could change if admissions surge, but with each booster shot, a winter of discontent becomes less likely.

Worth reading in full.

Ipsos MORI Poll Showing Large Support for Permanent Restrictions Far Off the Mark, New Data Suggests

A new polling organisation, Prolific, has challenged recent polling by Ipsos MORI that suggested a surprisingly high percentage of Brits believe lockdown restrictions should stay in place “permanently”.

Prolific believed that if the questions asked by Ipsos MORI were changed slightly, the results would come out very differently. How right it was! The results of its own poll have been published in the Financial Times.

A 70-person Oxford-based polling start-up called Prolific… decided to carry out their own 24-hour survey, using a representative sample of 978 people in the U.K. – very similar to the Ipsos poll which surveyed 1,025 people – to see what the results would be if they changed the questions a little. As they explained to us: 

“We ran pretty much the same study as Ipsos, but we… adapted our survey accordingly. Specifically: 

“We added a timeframe to the study, ‘Until Restrictions lift on July 19th’ We removed the word ‘rule’ from the study and replaced it with ‘idea’ 

“We modified the wording of the scale items to make it seem less like a rule, e.g. ‘Having to wear masks in shops and on public transport’ → ‘Wearing a mask in shops and on public transport’ .”

Prolific also changed the question that Ipsos had asked about restrictions remaining in place “permanently, regardless of the risk of Covid” to “permanently, even if there were little to no risk of Covid” – as we pointed out in our post earlier this week, the word “risk” tends to have negative associations, 

And it turns out the results from all these changes were rather different. Specifically: 

“Just three per cent support a permanent curfew, compared to 19% according to Ipsos.

“Just six per cent support permanent closure of nightclubs, compared to 26% according to Ipsos.

“13% supported a permanent 10-day quarantine when returning from foreign holidays, compared with 31% according to Ipsos. 

When it came to masks, there was slightly less of a difference between the two polls: 31% said they should continue to be worn in shops and on public transport, compared with 40% in the Ipsos poll who said wearing a mask in a public place should be mandatory. 

Here is what the Prolific poll results look like as a whole, compared with the Ipsos results represented as crosses (full key below):

What a difference! And as Will Jones recently highlighted, “actions speak louder than words”. The fact that so many people are deleting the NHS Covid app – or never downloaded it in the first place – is surely an indication of the true level of support behind Covid restrictions.

Worth reading in full.

“Vaccine Bounce” Gives Tories Largest Poll Lead Since May Last Year

With approval of the Government’s management of the vaccine rollout standing at 72%, the Tories have extended their lead over Labour up to nine points, according to new polling by Opinium. This is the party’s largest lead since May last year. Approval of the Government’s handling of Covid overall is also net positive for the first time since May (at 44%), and over half of those polled believe that Britain is unlocking at about the right pace.

Conservative Party voters were also shown to be the most supportive of vaccine passports, both for domestic and international use. Here are the key findings.

The Conservatives expand their lead to nine points, their largest lead since May last year, according to Opinium’s latest poll.  The Conservatives currently have 45% of the vote (+4 from two weeks ago), while Labour have 36% (-1), Lib Dems have 6% and the Greens 4%. …

Overall approval of the Government’s handling of the pandemic is net positive for the first time since May last year. This rise coincides with the vaccine rollout in February, and 44% now approve of the Tories’ handling and 36% disapprove.

Unsurprisingly, approval for handling of the vaccine rollout remains strong with 72% approving and only 8% disapproving. This is high even among Labour voters (71%) and SNP voters (57%). …

As lockdown measures continue to ease next week, over half (54%) think the roadmap is easing is at about the right pace, up slightly from 47% two weeks ago. Those thinking it was moving “too quickly” has dropped from 31% to 27% and “too slowly” from 12% to 10%.

The public is, on balance, supportive of the idea of vaccine passports, with 57% supporting this for entering busy venues within the UK and over two thirds (68%) for international travel. In both cases, the Conservative voters are the most supportive (70% for domestic and 83% for international) and Labour voters are more mixed (57% for domestic and 69% for international).

Adam Drummond, the Head of Political Polling at Opinium, has pinned the extension of the Conservative’s lead over Labour on the Government’s handling of the vaccine rollout.

The vaccine bounce continues to yield political benefits for the Government with their strongest figures for handling the pandemic since they first became negative last May. In terms of voting intention the figures bounce around due to statistical noise but there is a consistent Conservative lead in the high single digits.

Worth reading in full.