Public Attitudes on the Response to Coronavirus

By Dr Alan Mendoza

Following on from our landmark study ‘Coronavirus Compensation?’, last week we commissioned a poll to discover whether the British public would support legal action against China, as well as their views on other issues.

The results are stunning.  The British public overwhelmingly blames China for allowing COVID-19 to spread and backs plans to pursue the Chinese Government for damages, if it can be shown to have breached international law.

The poll of 1,000 British adults found that:

  • 74% of British adults believe “the Chinese Government is to blame for allowing COVID-19 to spread”. Just 19% believe it is not to blame.
  • 71% of the public would support the British Government suing China in international courts “if it became evident that the Chinese government breached international law in responding to the initial outbreak and spread of COVID-19”. Just 6% would oppose such action.
  • More British adults now oppose Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network than support it. 40% of British adults oppose allowing the firm to build the UK’s network. Just 27% support it. The proportion who oppose allowing Huawei a role rises to 51% of Conservative voters in the 2019 election.
  • 69% of the British public believe that the virus began in a wet market in Wuhan, China.
  • 83% of the public believe that the British Government should demand an international inquiry into the response of the Chinese Government to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 45% of the public believe that the Chinese Government is mainly to blame for the damage caused in the UK by Coronavirus. 15% believe the UK Government is mainly to blame, and 31% believe that the UK and Chinese Governments are equally to blame.

Perhaps most gratifyingly, the poll reveals that voters of all parties would support a firm response to China.  81% of Conservatives, 64% of Liberal Democrats and 66% of Labour voters back legal action.

Last night the poll was covered in The Times and on Sky News as well as a number of other national outlets.

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