Poll: Nearly 60% of UK know someone who broke lockdown rules & majority sceptical of Sue Gray investigation outcomes ahead of publication

57% of the public say they know someone who has broken lockdown rules at some point in the pandemic, according to new, nationally representative polling by the leading public services think tank the Serco Institute.

Do you know anyone who broke lockdown rules?

However, when asked if they had broken the rules themselves, the figure dropped drastically to 17%, showing a significant disconnect between how people perceive their own actions versus those of others during the height of the pandemic.

Did you break lockdown rules?

Working with pollsters Survation, the Serco Institute - as part of their continuing mission to better understand the public’s views across multiple public services in different countries - sought to examine attitudes towards Covid-19 policies ahead of the removal of Plan B measures in England on 27 January.

The new research also found that following the easing of Covid restrictions, if they could choose to, 19% would still prefer to work from home all the time and 34% would opt for hybrid working. Furthermore, only 41% of Britons indicated confidence in the outcomes of Sue Gray’s investigation into alleged lockdown breaches in Downing Street, ahead of the publication of the associated report. Conservative voters indicated higher levels of confidence in the investigation than opposition party supporters.

Do you have confidence in the outcomes of the Sue Gray investigation into alleged Covid rule breaking in Downing Street?

The polling was conducted on 24-25 January, with 1,046 people surveyed and the data weighted to be nationally representative. The Serco Institute does not take a position regarding any of the views expressed in the poll. 

Commenting on the polling, Serco Institute Deputy Director Ben O’Keeffe said:

“As the national conversation regarding the pandemic continues, and regulations ease again in England, it is important to understand the latest public thinking on Covid policies and public services.

“It is clear that people remain divided on how they see their own actions and the actions of others during the pandemic. Furthermore, the public are also divided on the big talking point of the so-called ‘Sue Gray report’ even before its publication.

“In the next few weeks it is likely we will see an increasing divergence of views, however, we must ensure that public servants and public services remain respected – particularly for the sake of those on the frontline.”  

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