Has the government been too cautious about easing lockdown? Londoners are inclined to think so

Has the government been too cautious about easing lockdown? Londoners are inclined to think so

More findings from the latest Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll of Londoners. This one is especially intriguing in view of the government becoming as cautious about relaxing Covid rules since the start of this year as Sadiq Khan has been all along.

The representative panel of 1,500 was offered a choice of five responses to the following question: With regard to the current lockdown, how do you view the government’s approach to easing restrictions? The answers were as follows:

  • The government has been excessively cautious – 17 per cent.
  • The government has been somewhat too cautious – 24 per cent.
  • The government has struck the right balance – 33 per cent.
  • The government has been somewhat too impatient – 20 per cent.
  • The government has been excessively impatient – six per cent.

So, the largest proportion – a plurality, is the proper word – think the government has got it right. Yet that 33 per cent of respondents are significantly outnumbered by those who think the government has been too cautious – a hefty 41 per cent altogether think the government has been either “somewhat” or “excessively” cautious about loosening the lockdown rules. This compares with just 26 per cent who think the government has been too impatient about relaxing the restrictions, either “somewhat” or “excessively”.

The poll was conducted last Thursday and Friday. News had broken by then about “surge testing” in Lambeth, Wandsworth, Barnet and Southwark due to clusters of the South African variant of the virus being found, though it might not have travelled very far. And even so, the message from the poll seems pretty clear – while a third of Londoners are content with the easing of restrictions so far, four in ten would like the process to go faster.

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Categories: Analysis

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