Large majority of Britons predict coronavirus will lead to changes in our lives, work, economy and society even one year from now – but expect less changes to the way we are governed

Britons expect our economy, work and lives to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but few expect the system of government to be different.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
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In a new online survey by Ipsos MORI, 88% of Britons believe that one year from now their economy will have changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and half (49%) think it will change a great deal. Following a mass move to working from home for those able to do so, three-quarters also expect to see a shift in the way we work, only 1 in 5 (22%) of Britons anticipate little or no change in their working habits. The survey, conducted online among British adults aged 18-75 this weekend, found another three-quarters expect the way we live our lives to change – one in four say a great deal.

Large majority of Britons predict coronavirus will lead to changes in our lives, work, economy and society even one year from now – but expect less changes to the way we are governed Seven in ten (69%) believe British society will have changed in a year’s time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with one in five looking forward to a great deal of change. Roughly a quarter (26%) believe there will be little change, if any at all, and only 4% believe there will be no difference in British society at all.  Women (74%, vs 66% of men), and young people (79% of 18-34s vs 66% of 35 to 75-year olds) are particularly likely to think British society will have changed in a year’s time due to coronavirus.  

There is a contrast between the forecast impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on public services and the way we are governed.  Public services are expected to be affected like much of the rest of British society – seven in ten (69%) think they will have changed one year from now thanks to the coronavirus, and one in four predict a great deal of change.  However, in contrast, people think the British system of Government is less likely to be impacted by the crisis. Only 45% expect to see the system of government alter, while half (49%) expect to see few or no changes. Again, women and young people are more likely to expect changes to public services and Britain’s system of government. In particular, 62% of 18-34-year olds think Britain’s system of government will have changed, against just 35% of 55-75-year olds.  

Labour voters (who tend to be younger) also expect to see a change – 54% of 2019 Labour voters think the way we are governed will have changed, compared with just 39% of Conservatives.

Gideon Skinner, head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

The British public expect the impact of the coronavirus to be with us for some time, with knock-on effects ranging across British society and the way we work and live our lives.  With sobering news today  from the Bank of England, it’s also not surprising that Britons think it is the economy that will be most deeply affected.  Having said that, views on Britain’s system of government also stand out, where there is clearly greater scepticism that things will change.

Technical note:

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,077 British adults aged 18-75 online between 1st and 4th of May 2020.  Data are weighted to the profile of the population
     

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research

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