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Coronavirus: UK government joint worst in the world for handling COVID-19 crisis, poll finds

·3-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his daily COVID 19 press briefing at Downing Street on March 22, 2020 in London, England. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The government's handling of the coronavirus crisis has been widely criticised (Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The approval rating of the British government’s handing of the coronavirus crisis is the joint lowest in the world, a global poll has revealed.

Just 41% of Britons believe the government is managing the COVID-19 outbreak well, versus 56% who say it is mishandling it, according to results of a YouGov report published on Monday.

Approval ratings of those in charge in both the UK and USA have declined, according to the YouGov COVID-19 Public Monitor which guages opinions from across the globe on a weekly basis.

“This means that domestically the British government are seen by the population to be handling the crisis less well than Americans think of their own government”, the report says.

“The Trump administration’s response to the crisis currently generates a net score of -12, down from -7 the week before, with 41% of Americans saying the government is performing well compared to 53% who say it is performing poorly.”

The UK has the joint lowest approval rating of its government handling of the coronvirus crisis (YouGov)
The UK has the joint lowest approval rating of its government handling of the coronvirus crisis (YouGov)

Britons and Mexicans are most dissatisfied with their governments’ handling of the pandemic.

And further data has revealed that Just 27% of Britons think Boris Johnson is an honest person.

The figures show a sharp change in popular opinion in just a few months. In late March, at the start of the crisis, at least 55% of Britons held a favourable opinion of the prime minister, compared to just 33% when he took office in December.

An ambulance passes a billboard by campaign group Led by Donkeys parodying an official government coronavirus message campaign, in central London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
An ambulance passes a billboard by campaign group Led by Donkeys parodying an official government coronavirus message campaign, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

Most of the new support came from voters who didn’t back the Conservatives in 2019.

However, recent polls have also shown that Labour is closing the the gap on the Tories as the government faces criticism for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Surveys undertaken by Opinium, Deltapoll and Survation, all show Labour has reduced the margin to between two and three points since the crisis began.

When faced with questions from Labour leader Keir Starmer about the government’s handling of the pandemic, the prime minister said: ““I really do not see the purpose of his [Starmer’s] endless attacks on public trust and confidence.

“I think what the public want to hear from politicians across all parties is clear messages on how to defeat the virus.”

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the House of Commons during question period as opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer looks on, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in London, Britain May 20, 2020. UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IMAGE CAN NOT BE ALTERED IN ANY FORM. MANDATORY CREDIT
Boris Johnson has clashed with Labour leader Keir Starmer over his handling of the coronavirus crisis (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters)

The YouGov poll revealed that faith in the French and Finnish governments was rising amongst citizens, and that the Vietnamese government has highest approval rating of any nation in the study, at +95, followed by Taiwan and Malaysia on +87.

On Monday the UK had recorded 40,542 deaths from coronavirus, although the true figure is thought to exceed 50,000.

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