Two-thirds UK adults say that the Government did not do enough (63%) to protect care homes from coronavirus at the start of the pandemic last year. Worryingly for the Conservatives, this includes three in five of their own voters from 2019 (59%), and almost three-quarters of those aged 55+ (71%).
Elsewhere in the poll, two in five say that the Government ‘made a lot of mistakes’ in how they handled the pandemic last March (38%), while a similar proportion say they ‘made some mistakes’ (43%).
Just one in eight Britons say the Government ‘did not make many mistakes’ (12%) at the start of the pandemic last March.
Much has been made about whether government’s, including the UK government, have had to choose between prioritising saving lives and protecting the economy.
Britons are twice as likely to say that, at the start of the pandemic, the Government prioritised the economy more than saving lives (48%), than saving lives over the economy (26%).
However, for Britons, by Winter 2020 this had reversed and two in five say the Government prioritised saving lives more than the economy (38%), with a third saying the opposite (32%).
And, by 2021, a quarter of Britons say that the Government prioritised both saving lives and the economy ‘equally’ (26%), higher than at any other point.
|Saving lives more than economy||Economy more than saving lives||Both equally|
|Start of pandemic||26%||48%||18%|
|2021 so far||31%||33%||26%|
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “The government’s track record on the pandemic is patchy at best, and while the successful vaccination programme papers over a lot of cracks, this research shows that the public have not forgotten some of the decisions the government made in 2020 and the impact that they had on the death toll in the UK.
“Indeed, when the government comes to answer such questions when the pandemic inquiry rolls around next year, they could still yet suffer at the hands of voters who, with the benefit of hindsight, could assess the government’s pandemic track record negatively despite the current vaccine rollout.”