Publication - Research and analysis

Public attitudes to Coronavirus: November update

Published: 20 Nov 2020

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

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

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

31 page PDF

2.6 MB

4. Views on government and information sources 

Rating of government

Surveys have examined people’s reactions to the Scottish Government’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic. 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 20, respondents continued to rate the NHS highly. The proportion rating the Scottish Government as doing a good or very good job fell in mid-September and again at the beginning of October but has remained stable since. Around one quarter rated the UK Government as doing a good job following a decrease at the beginning of September.

Figure 20: Proportion who rated each as doing a good/very good job to help Scotland deal with recovering following the pandemic
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with three lines. Each line represents the proportion who rated each institution as good or very good across eight waves This is stable for NHS Scotland (84% to 88%), but reduces slightly over waves for Scottish Government (75% to 69%), and UK Government (32% to 25%).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

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 21, around seven in ten reported to trust the Scottish Government ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’, although the proportion who reported ‘a great deal’ of trust fell between the early September and late October. Around one quarter reported that they do not trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests.

Figure 21: Whether respondents trust the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests during the Coronavirus pandemic
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart with three bars. Each bar shows the proportion who trust the Scottish Government ‘a great deal’, ‘quite a lot’, ‘not very much’ or ‘not at all’. Over the three waves, the proportion who trust ‘a great deal’ decrease, from 48% to 41% but the proportion who trust ‘quite a lot’ increases, from 25% to 30%.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1018)

Trust in Scottish Government advice and guidance

Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements about trust in the Scottish Government on various aspects of advice and guidance. Figure 22 shows that majorities agreed with these statements, however, that trust in the Scottish Government to decide when and how to lift and re-impose restrictions, and trust in advice and guidance to stay safe, protect others, and save lives, was lower at the end of October than the beginning of September.

Figure 22: Proportion who agreed/strongly agreed with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with three lines. Each line represents the proportion who agree with statements about trust in Scottish Government trust and advice. The proportion who agreed that they trust the advice and guidance from the Scottish Government, and the proportion who trust the Scottish Government to decide when and how it’s best to lift restrictions decreases slightly over waves (73% to 65% and 68% to 58% respectively). Trust in the Scottish Government to monitor and respond to localised outbreaks remains stable at 71% to 72%.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

Similarly, Figure 23 shows that the majority agreed that they feel clear about what is required in September and October, and think that advice from the Scottish Government is clear and helpful. However, levels of agreement fell at the end of September.

Figure 23: Proportion who agreed/strongly agreed with the statements shown
Chart description below

Chart description

Line chart with two lines. The first line shows the proportion who agreed they feel clear about what is required of people who live in Scotland, and the second shows the proportion who agreed that the advice from the Scottish Government is clear and helpful. Both show declines over nine waves from 74% to 63% and 71% to 58% respectively.

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1053)

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 24, the proportion who said they trust Scottish Government was consistently higher than the proportion who trusted the UK Government to deliver information about Coronavirus. Trust in information from the Scottish Government fell in early September but has since stabilised.

Figure 24: Proportion who completely or mostly trust each information source to deliver information on Coronavirus
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart that shows the proportion of respondents who report they trust various information sources. It illustrates high levels of trust in scientists (76% to 79%) and Scottish Government (66% to 72%) but lower levels of trust in UK Government (25% to 28%).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1000-1018)

Sources of information

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 25, Scotland specific sources were used by sizable minorities, including BBC TV News for Scotland and Scot Gov websites/social media. However, the proportion regularly accessing information from the FM daily briefing decreased between the end of September and end of October, to levels seen in early September.

Figure 25: Proportion using each information source regularly to access information on Coronavirus
Chart description below

Chart description

Bar chart that shows the proportion of respondents who report using various information sources regularly. It illustrates that the FM daily briefing (42% to 48%) and BBC TV news for Scotland (39% to 43%) are more often reported than TV news (excl BBC or STV) (9% to 11%) or Instagram (4% to 7%).

Source: YouGov weekly Scotland survey. Base (n=1004-1053)


Contact

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot