What has happened to trust and cohesion since Tier 4 restrictions and the third national lockdown (December 2020 –March 2021)? Further evidence from national surveys

by Professor Dominic Abrams FBA and Dr Fanny Lalot for the British Academy

Centre for the Study of Group Processes School of Psychology, University of Kent
Number of pages

This report documents the changes in political trust and distrust, and perceptions of national and local division and unity, between December 2020 and March 2021. This complements previous evidence from December 2019 to October 2020 to cover the period when the whole of the UK entered lockdown and when the vaccination programme began to a point where 15 million people had been vaccinated (Lalot, Davies & Abrams, 2020). The data are from surveys involving 8003 respondents from different parts of Britain and then a nationally representative survey involving 1005 respondents. This report shows the percentage of respondents that perceived improving or worsening levels of political trust at the national and local levels (both general political trust and COVID-19 related trust) and perceptions of unity and division at the national and local levels. We note the following key findings relating them to three time points: December 2020 prior to the 19 December imposition of Tier 4 restrictions over large parts of the southeast and east of England and London; the three weeks following 19 December and into January 2021 as the vaccine programme gathered pace; and 5 March 2021,a few days after the Budget and by which time 21 million people had been vaccinated and announcements had been made about the timeline for reopening schools and phasing out of lockdown.

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