Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Comment
22 July 2021updated 20 Aug 2021 4:50am

Most voters now oppose the government’s Covid-19 response

As coronavirus cases surge, public confidence in the government’s handling of Covid-19 has plummeted.

By Ben Walker

As England’s unlocking coincides with a surge in Covid-19 cases, confidence in the government’s handling of the pandemic has collapsed to the lowest level seen this year.

Pollster Redfield and Wilton asked voters if they thought the government had been taking the right measures to combat Covid-19. In its latest survey, 50 per cent of respondents said the government is making the wrong decisions – the highest number recorded by the pollster since October last year and an increase of eight points in one week.

Most voters no longer believe the government is taking the right measures to combat Covid-19
“Is the UK government currently taking the right measures to address the coronavirus pandemic?”

At the same time, polling company JL Partners recorded a collapse in confidence in key government ministers. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating, for instance, has fallen from a net positive of 40 points in September 2020 to 21 points this month.

When asked which of the main party leaders is doing a better job, 36 per cent said Boris Johnson, while 28 per cent backed Keir Starmer. While Johnson’s therefore has a comfortable eight-point lead over Starmer, it represents a sharp fall from the 25-point lead he enjoyed in April this year.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Boris Johnson takes a ten-point hit in a head-to-head with Keir Starmer
“Which of Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer is doing a better job overall at the moment?”

Content from our partners
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses – Liz Truss must act
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs

The dip in the government’s approval ratings appears to be related to England’s unlocking and questions around whether the measures (or lack thereof) in place at present are the right ones. For example, amid the current “pingdemic”, 12 per cent of respondents to the JL Partners survey said they have deleted the NHS Test and Trace app, while 24 per cent admitted they are considering doing so.