Wearing a mask on a train

As we endure the long months of Covid-19, it is clear from recent (Aug 2020) YouGov polls that the British people have overwhelmingly approved of the government’s restrictions on their daily lives.

For instance, 91% have supported the requirement to wear face masks on transport, and to stay indoors under quarantine. These figures are unlikely to have changed much in the last month or so.

However an implacable 6% have insisted on following their own rules on these matters, and as for the plan to open schools in September, 57% supported the idea in August while 25% did not.

Looking back in the Archive at MORI polls over the last 40 years, there has always been a majority willingness to do as told by the government on key regulatory issues.  This has been true for instance on car seat belts (at 58% in 1978), on food labelling (76% in 2003), on environmental protections (73% in 1998), on the banning the trapping of animals for fur (87% in1987), and tighter regulation of the City of London (53% in 1987, but 39% thought it should be left to the City to do that).

It seems clear that throughout the last 40 years, government regulation of our lives on key issues has had the support of a majority (and it has always stood even higher, at 90%+, among Labour voters). But there has remained an implacable minority of anything between 6% and 25% of the public who baulk at any such control over their lives.



The Archive contains a wide range of valuable material that is free to access and these findings may be found there under ‘MORI Reports’.

Contributed by Peter Bartram
Date posted: 17th September 2020


Share this