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New poll finds 46% of public believe Boris Johnson has gone too far with lockdown easing

The public are split over their response to the Prime Minister's plan

3 min read

Almost half of the public believe Boris Johnson has gone too far with easing the coronavirus lockdown, a new poll has found.

The snap YouGov study found just 35% of Brits believe ministers have struck the right balance with the new relaxations, while 10% think the steps do not go far enough.

Overall, the public still back the Government's approach by 44% to 43%, but a full nine in ten of those who oppose the plans say it is because they fear the Prime Minister has gone too far with his announcement.

This is compared to just 71% of those who continue to back the plan saying ministers have chosen the right balance.

The figures come amid mounting confusion over the new measures, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying the Government's plan was "unravelling".

And he hit out at Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who appeared to contradict the Prime Minister's announcement that those who could not work from home should travel to work on Monday, saying instead that the measures did not come into effect until Wednesday.

"I was actually quite surprised the Prime Minister said, effectively in 12 hours’ time, start going back to work without those bits in place," Sir Keir told LBC.

"We needed that clarity and it is unravelling a bit this morning because I think the Foreign Secretary has now said, ‘Well, go back to work doesn’t really mean until Wednesday’, so suddenly it has shifted."

The study also found there was opposition to the Government's new "Stay alert" slogan, with 63% saying only the old "Stay Home" messsage made it clear what was being asked of the public.

Only 28% said they could make sense of both slogans, while a further 2% said the new slogan offered the clearest guidance to the public.

But the pollster suggested the split was guided by party allegiances, with 48% of Conservative voters saying they could make sense of both messages, compared to just 17% of Labour voters and 18% of Lib Dem supporters.

Chris Curtis, Political Research Manager at YouGov, said: "While the public has so far been overwhelmingly behind the government and its approach to tackling coronavirus, we might now start to see that consensus fracturing.

"Previous polling has highlighted Brits' concerns about the lockdown ending too quickly and this new research reinforces this view with almost half saying the annouced relaxing of the rules goes too far.

"What's more, the much derided new British government slogan, which YouGov's snap poll shows many are struggling to understand, alongside the competing advice emanating from each part of the Union, has the potential to sow more confusion in the coming days."

The YouGov study for Good Morning Britain polled 6,500 respondents following the Prime Minister's announcement.

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