Less than 30% of Brits blame the government for recent rise in Covid-19 cases
Who do you hold most responsible for the rise in coronavirus cases over the last month..?
This was the question asked to British citizens by YouGov on Monday - with the options being either the government, the public, or neither. Three simple options, even if the third seems a little unnecessary.
Now, few would claim that the coronavirus has been handled well by the Conservative party. From the very beginning of the pandemic, when Boris Johnson boasted of shaking hands with Covid-19 patients before promptly being diagnosed with it himself, to the government's apparent rewriting of its own rules to accommodate the rule breaking of an unelected advisor, it has quite simply been an enormous mess.
More than 81,000 people in the United Kingdom have died as a result of the virus, with more than 71,000 of those deaths happening in England. The level of incompetence shown by the government at a time when the one thing needed is competence would usually, you'd assume, result in a large portion of the country blaming them for the toll the pandemic has taken. But that doesn't appear to be the case.
Of the people surveyed by YouGov, just 28 percent considered the government to be most responsible for the surge in cases over the past month. Almost 60 percent (58%) believe the public is to blame.
— YouGov (@YouGov) January 11, 2021
Broken down by political affiliation, it becomes a little clearer how the result ended up the way it did. 80% of Conservative voters when asked who they blame most said the public, with just 9% (the same number who said 'neither') blaming the government.
Among Labour voters, the percentage who blamed the public and the government was 35% and 54% respectively.
The poll bodes well for the Tories, who for years now have shown a greater ability to shake off scandal than to avoid it in the first place. They have been criticised throughout the pandemic for muddled messaging which leaves rules open to interpretation, with the end goal - some have said - to blur the lines of blame over the situation we find ourselves in.
No one can say with certainty that that was ever the Tories' plan. But if it was, it appears it's working.