Public backs calls for government of national unity during coronavirus pandemic

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA Wire.

Boris Johnson in the House of Commons. Photograph: PA Wire. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The public back calls for a government of national unity in a bid to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

A YouGov survey found 63% are in favour of a united government, which would ask the country's main political parties to set aside their differences and work together through the pandemic.

From the survey of 1,609 people it found a total of 31% said they would be strongly support such a move, whilst only 17% stated that they would be opposed.

Of those polled who voted for the Conservatives at the general election last year, 54% said that they would back plans to govern in unison during the crisis.

Meanwhile, 76% of Labour voters outlined that they would support such a move, with a majority of Liberal Democrat voters polled (84%) also giving their backing.

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The survey was carried out between April 6 and April 7 - shortly after the election of Sir Keir Starmer as the new Labour leader.

Following his victory on Saturday, the leader of the Opposition pledged to engage 'constructively' with the government.

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He said: 'There will be many times when, and there are many issues upon which, I will fundamentally disagree with the Prime Minister.

'There will also be times when Labour can - and must - engage constructively with the government.

'Now is such a time. Coronavirus is a national emergency. It is also a global emergency. Everyone is anxious about what the next few months will bring, but we know we must be resolute in our determination to see this virus defeated, as it will be.

'I want to see the government succeed in this: to save lives and protect livelihoods. This is a national effort and all of us should be asking what more we can do.'

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