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Public support for government's handling of coronavirus outbreak continues to grow

Public support for government's handling of coronavirus outbreak continues to grow

A deserted Regent Street in London in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

2 min read

Public support for the way the Government is handling the coronavirus outbreak has soared in the past week, according to a new poll.

The YouGov survey found that 72% back Boris Johnson's approach - up 13 points on a week ago.

Only 21% think the Government is doing a bad job, down 10 points since the last poll.

Support for the Government's approach has also cut across traditional party lines, the poll found.

Backing among Labour voters has jumped from 38% to 56% in the last seven days, while the proportion of Lib Dems who endorse the Prime Minister's performance has gone from 54% to 66%.

Some 93% of Tory voters say the Government is performing well, compared to 85% a week ago.

The findings come after Mr Johnson put the UK on lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

They are also a major boost for Downing Street following a torrid day in which the PM, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and chief medical officer Chris Whitty all confirmed they have the coronavirus.

A YouGov spokesperson said: "It is often the case that the public rallies behind a governing party, or leading politicians, in the times of a crisis.

"For example, we have seen short-run bounces like this after 9/11 in the US, or the Falkland’s War in the UK.

"We have also seen the Prime Ministers personal popularity increase over the past couple of weeks with his net favourability score bouncing up to +20, the first time he has been in positive territory since we started tracking in 2016.

"However, this phenomenon, sometimes referred to as 'rally round the flag effect', does not always last into the long run if key decisions made begin to be criticised and face further scrutiny."

Elsewhere, the poll also found that British people are now more fearful about catching the disease.

A total of 61% said they were scared of catching it, up from 48% a week ago.

Meanwhile, the proportion saying they were not scared has fallen from 49% to 36%.

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