Fly Research poll: week nine update
London based online market research agency FlyResearch has been issuing weekly polls to its research panel of over 3000 people throughout the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, in order to project how the outbreak and the implementing of social distancing has been impacting the daily life of UK citizens. In conversation with The Parliamentary Review, managing partner Greg Ward discusses the poll findings for the ninth week of polling [commencing May 25], which saw approval ratings for the government’s response deteriorate further alongside an adverse impact on the emotional well-being of respondents.
Referring firstly to the personal health of the panellists and the difference from the week eight [commencing May 18] poll, Ward explained: “First and foremost, we are once again seeing a slow growth in the number of respondents informing us that their emotional health is suffering. This number now stands at 39 per cent of the panel, an increase of two per cent compared to last week. When we first started polling in the week commencing March 30, this number stood at 31 percent.
“It is, therefore, a slow-moving difference, but unfortunately a distinct trend that the mental health of panel members is gradually buckling. It also means that only little over half of our panel, 53 per cent to be precise, feel that they have not yet been personally impacted by the pandemic. That figure stood at 60 per cent when we first started the weekly series of polls.”
Ward added that the same trend can be seen within the data concerning the well-being of the respondents’ friends, family, and associates.
Highlighting these numbers, Ward said: “Panel members telling us that they know at least one person who has passed away as a result of Covid-19 is continuing to creep up. Having stood at 11 per cent for the last fortnight of polling, it has increased by one per cent in this latest survey.
“Any increase in this area clearly represents some personal tragedies, so we express our sincerest condolences for those impacted by this pandemic in any way. However, hopefully there is some small solace in that the rate of increase in these numbers is quite subdued. Equally, any increase in the number of panellists informing us that they are unemployed is still increasing only marginally. Hopefully, we will begin to see the statistics moving the other way very soon.”
The weekly poll question relating to panellists’ feelings about the future yielded a more uncertain outlook, amid some positive movement.
Ward explained: “Looking at these numbers, the number of respondents saying that they are ‘concerned’ about the future has fallen to an all-time low, just, of 45 per cent, having increased to 48 per cent in week eight. This is undoubtedly a move in the right direction, but it is still the dominating emotion across the panel as a whole.
“Last week, for instance, the number of panellists telling us that they were ‘hopeful’ of the future, our most positive response, had slightly dropped from 38 per cent in week seven to 35 per cent. This week, it has increased to 37 per cent. Elsewhere, the number of people polling in as being ‘scared’ about the future has dropped from 17 per cent in week eight to 13 per cent this time around. So there are some positives to take from this, which do not necessarily correlate with the other figures.”
The positive shift in the hopefulness of panel members certainly did not correlate with the poll’s approval ratings for the government’s response to the crisis, either, as Ward highlighted.
He said: “Of course, we are very familiar now with the ten-point scale of approval for the government’s response: a score of one being tantamount to a disaster and a score of ten being very positive. In week eight, we discovered that more of our panellists were now scoring the government’s strategy in the bottom three of the scale than in the top three [30 per cent vs 23 per cent]. This trend has persisted in the latest round of polling.
“32 per cent of the panel, little under a third, are now scoring the government between one and three, compared to just 21 per cent scoring them in the eight to ten range. Out of these, 14 per cent now say that the government’s response has been a ‘complete disaster’, compared to just four per cent in the opening week of polling. In contrast, a mere three per cent scored the government a top score of ten, a number which has fallen from eight per cent in week one.”
It suffices to say, therefore, that the latest FlyResearch poll has projected some mixed messages in the well-being and views of its panellists, but as the next round of polling approaches with more lockdown restrictions being lifted by the government, it will certainly be interesting to gauge how opinions shift, if at all.