Poll suggests most Brits will blame the public rather than government for second coronavirus wave

PUBLISHED: 12:45 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:45 02 July 2020

ITV polling shows a majority of Brits are ready to blame the public for a second surge in coronavirus cases; Peston Show, Twitter

ITV polling shows a majority of Brits are ready to blame the public for a second surge in coronavirus cases; Peston Show, Twitter

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New polling suggests a majority of Britons are ready to blame their fellow citizens, rather than the government, if a second wave of the coronavirus hits.

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More people believe a second lockdown will happened before the end of the year; Peston Show, TwitterMore people believe a second lockdown will happened before the end of the year; Peston Show, Twitter

The new survey found that 59% of respondents think the public would be to blame, while on 33% felt the government would be at fault.

The poll, commissioned by ITV’s Peston show in recent days, asked 2,000 British adults who they would blame most for a renewed surge in cases.

Surprisingly, the majority said laxed attitudes by the public towards social distancing rules rather than a quick easing of lockdown measures by the government would be likely causes for a second wave.

In a separate count, three-quarters of the public believed there would be another lockdown by the end of this year, with 27% predicting one coming into force before the end of summer. A further27% expect one in autumn, 21% thinking it will be in winter. Only 14% were confident a shutdown would never happen again.

Both polls were published on Twitter - provoking a debate over the attitudes of the public towards a second wave.

Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper said the figures were ‘evidence’ to bring forward a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the virus.

“7 days ago I predicted that govt was preparing to shift the blame for any increase in #Covid19. Tonight @Peston quotes polling showing public more likely to blame *other people* not govt. Time for the #CovidInquiryNow.”

Bernadette Kelly said Dominic Cummings was also to blame. She wrote: “Responsibility for not following lockdown rules lies with government. They set rules & inform public. But PM’s special adviser breaks them. Why would people blame others for not following lockdown rules if there’s a second wave?”

Tim Galsworthy agreed: “The government have got exactly what they wanted. Through confused messaging, they’ve pushed all responsibility onto us. Partly to cover for Dominic Cummings, partly to obscure their own mishandling of the crisis.”

Dave Beynon wrote: “Count me amongst the minority. Who failed to lockdown for weeks? Who failed to react on testing, track and trace? Who has constantly underplayed the numbers? Who gave the public very mixed messages for the entirety of the period ever since the peak of the first wave passed?”

Freelance writer John Lister said the survey question was misleading: “It says who would you most blame. That doesn’t mean people wouldn’t blame both”.

Adrian Faiers said pleaded for the results to be wrong: “Please tell me it was poor sampling!”

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