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14 May 2020updated 04 Sep 2021 12:29pm

Britons think Covid-19 will make country kinder, fairer and less divided, according to ONS study

By David Ottewell

One aspect of the coronavirus crisis that has puzzled many on the left is the enduringly high poll ratings of the Conservative party. One of the reasons behind the ratings might lie in the determination of the British people to see positives in a crisis.

More than six in ten people (61.1 per cent) think Britain will be a united place after it recovers from the pandemic, an ongoing Official for National Statistics survey has found. Before the crisis, only one in five people (21.4 per cent) said the country was united.

Similarly, while only 41 per cent thought people in Britain were generally kind before the virus, 71.8 per cent think they will be kind after it.

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People even think Britain will be a more equal place as a result of coronavirus, the survey suggests, although respondents said the crisis will have less of an effect on equality than on kindness and unity.

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All this positivity in the face of adversity is likely to help the incumbent party: if Britain is going to heal itself of its divisions after the virus, then there’s less need to change the government. Quite why we think this is going to happen is not clear; that we do think it is beyond doubt.