Latest Issue

No 10 is misreading the polls on lockdown

Public opinion does not lie where the government suspects it does

By Peter Kellner  

Photo; Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

To the list of government failures in tackling the pandemic, one more must now be added. Ministers are misreading the state of public opinion and risk making a bad situation worse.

It has been widely reported and not seriously denied that Boris Johnson is nervous about relaxing the lockdown because most voters oppose the idea. We are told that the regular private polls commissioned by his office make that opposition terrifyingly clear.

I have not seen any of that data. But while private polls…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect