Publication - Research and analysis

Public attitudes to Coronavirus: January update

Published: 29 Jan 2021

This report includes some high level findings from recent polling work on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

Public attitudes to Coronavirus: January update
4. Views on government and information sources

4. Views on government and information sources

Rating of government

This section summarises polling data about public trust in the Coronavirus measures, and trust in various sources to provide information about Coronavirus.

Respondents were asked how good or poor a job various institutions are doing to help their country deal with recovery following the pandemic. As shown in Figure 23, while NHS Scotland was the highest rated, the proportion of respondents rating it as doing a good or very good job declined slightly in mid-December. The proportion rating the Scottish Government as doing a good or very good job also declined between mid-December and the month previous. Around one quarter rated the UK Government as doing a good job.

Figure 23: Proportion who rated each as doing a good/very good job to help Scotland deal with recovering following the pandemic

Trust in NHS decreased 85% to 80%, in Scottish Government 68% to 61%,  UK Government stays around 25%

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1002-1020)

Trust in Scottish Government

Respondents were asked to what extent they trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests during the Coronavirus pandemic. As shown in Figure 24, around seven in ten said that they trust the Scottish Government 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot', although the proportion who reported 'a great deal' declined between early and mid-December. Around one third reported that they do not trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests in mid-December.

Figure 24: Whether respondents trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland's best interests during the Coronavirus pandemic

Fluctuated. 11-15% not at all, 13%-18% not very much, 26%-32% quite a lot, 33%-40% a great deal

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1009-1020)

Trust in Scottish Government advice and guidance

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements about trust in the Scottish Government's advice and guidance. Figure 25 shows that the majority agreed with these statements. The proportion trusting the advice and guidance from the Scottish Government to stay safe, protect others and save lives was around two thirds for most of November and December, increasing to three quarters at the end of December.[9] In comparison, around three in five trust the Scottish Government to decide when and how to lift and re-impose restrictions.

Figure 25: Proportion who agreed with the statements shown

Trust in SG advice increased from 67% to 76%, trust in SG to lift/impose restrictions was between 55%-62%

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1002-1020)

Figure 26 shows that, during November and December, the majority of respondents agreed that they feel clear about what is required, that they think that advice from the Scottish Government is clear and helpful, and that they know where to go for information about the restrictions that apply in their area. The proportion agreeing with the latter dipped in November and slightly in December, but has since recovered.

Figure 26: Proportion who agreed with the statements shown

Agreement with ‘know where to go for information on restrictions’ fluctuated (73%-81%), others remained stable

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1002-1020)

Respondents were shown a list of information sources and asked about the degree to which they trust the source to deliver information on Coronavirus. As shown in Figure 27, the proportion who said they trust NHS Scotland was consistently higher than the proportion who trust the Scottish Government and Local Authorities in this context. Trust in information from the Scottish Government declined slightly in mid-December.

Figure 27: Proportion who completely or mostly trust each information source to deliver information on Coronavirus

NHS Scotland (79-81%), scientists, WHO (76-79%). Lower for UK Government (22-25%)

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1009-1020)

Sources of information

In November, respondents were shown a list of information sources and asked which they use regularly to access information on Coronavirus (i.e. at least three times a week). As shown in Figure 28, Scotland specific sources were used by sizable minorities, including FM daily briefings, BBC TV News for Scotland, and Scot Gov websites/social media.

Figure 28: Proportion using each information source regularly to access information on Coronavirus

Most used are FM briefings (38%), BBC TV Scotland (33%), Least used is Other NHS sites (3%)

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey (24-25 Nov). Base (n=1002)


Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot