Few believe Britain will be back to normal by Christmas, while opinion split on ending furlough in October

The latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor shows that most Britons lack confidence that life in Britain will mainly be back to normal by Christmas.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
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Most Britons lack confidence that life in Britain will mainly be back to normal by Christmas, according to the latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor. The question was split-sampled, with half the sample being just asked how confident they were that life in Britain would be mainly back to normal by Christmas, and half being reminded of the Prime Minister’s statement that “It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest - possibly in time for Christmas”. Without reminding, the poll shows nine in ten (89%) have no or little confidence things will be back to normal by Christmas, with just one in ten (10%) being confident. When reminded of Boris Johnson’s quote respondents showed slightly more optimism with 18% being confident normality will return by Christmas, but still eight in ten (82%) say they are not confident.

Back to normal

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Half (48%) think that the Chancellor is right to end the furlough scheme in October compared with 43% who think it is too soon.
  • Seven in ten (69%) Conservative supporters think the Chancellor is right to end the furlough scheme in October (26% think it’s too soon) compared with 37% of Labour supporters (59% think it’s too soon).
  • Young people are more likely to think the furlough scheme is being ended too soon (52% of 18-34 year olds vs 36% of those aged 55+).
  • Pessimism remains high in Britain on the health of the economy. Seven in ten (68%) think it will get worse in the next 12 months (down 1 point from June) while 20% think it will improve (down 2 points) leaving an Economic Optimism Index score of -48.
  • Just over half (54%) think that schools fully reopening in September would be about the right time, while a third (32%) say it’s too soon and just 7% say it’s too late.
  • Conservative supporters are more likely to say schools reopening in September is about the right time (65%) than Labour supporters (52%) while Labour supporters are more likely than Conservative supporters to say this is too soon (40% vs 19% respectively).

Commenting on the findings, Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

Britons remain concerned about the coronavirus and are preparing for a long haul with few expecting a return to normality any time soon. Having said that, around half are prepared for schools to fully reopen and the furlough scheme to end in the Autumn, but many young people in particular are worried these are coming too soon

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,019 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 30th July – 4th August. Data are weighted to the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs

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