Public opinion on coronavirus – 19th March

Economy seen to be deteriorating but public trust in government to take us through the crisis is on the rise

Perceptions of the economy have radically deteriorated over the past couple of weeks. Our pre-Budget poll launched on the 6th March saw 32% believe the economy was in a good state, while 31% believed the economy was in a bad state.

In our latest poll, we found that 53% now that think the state of the UK economy is bad while only 16% think it is good.

Similarly, two third (67%) now believe that the economy will get worse over the next 12 months, up from 45% two weeks ago. This also includes 42% who now think the economy will get “much worse” in the next year.

Four in five (82%) expect the Coronavirus to have a negative impact on the economy.

Now just under half (45%) of UK adults expect their personal financial situation to get worse in the next 12 months, up from a third (33%) at the end of last week. Now only 12% expect their personal finances to get better.

A large proportion of the public are now linking the Coronavirus situation to their own financial situation. Almost three in five (57%) expect Coronavirus to have a negative impact on their finances, up from 47% at the end of last week.

Scarily, one in ten (9%) workers think it is very likely they will lose their jobs during the Coronavirus situation, rising slightly to 12% of part-time workers.

Public get behind government’s crisis response

Four in five (80%) UK adults are now worried about Coronavirus, up from 73% last week. More concerningly the proportion who described themselves as “very worried” by the crisis is up from under a quarter (23%) last week to over a third (35%) at the end of this week.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those aged 65 and over are the most worried about the Coronavirus situation, while those aged 18 to 34 are the least worried (86% vs 75% respectively).

Just under half (47%) now approve of the way the Government has handled the Coronavirus situation, while 31% disapprove. This gives the government’s handling of the crisis a positive net score of +16%, up slightly from +14% at the end of last week.

On a broader, long-term level, 44% have confidence in the Government’s ability to handle the Coronavirus situation as it continues to develop, while a third (32%) do not. This is very similar to our previous numbers.

When we tested the package of £330 billion worth of state-backed loans for businesses to help them through the crisis, introduced by Rishi Sunak, 71% supported the measures while only 6% opposed them.

Tables and report

See the full data tables