Poll reveals massive majority of public support nurses striking

Latest poll reveals two thirds of the public support nurses taking strike action.

Nurses strike

An overwhelming majority of the public support nurses striking, and the number is increasing, according to new polling today.

Despite what the government may want you to believe, two thirds of the public currently support nurses taking industrial action, with just 21% in opposition.

The poll, conducted by Savanta, highlights how public support for nurses taking strike action remains high and implies net support is going up.

Revealed on the second day of the nurses’ strike in England, the data also showed a huge 92% of those surveyed believe nurses are essential to everyday life in the UK.

Furthermore, six in ten say nurses are underappreciated whilst two thirds believe they are underpaid.

However, the public have less faith in government negotiations, with just under half believing the nurses strike will end with a better pay deal, and 34% believing it will not.

The majority of the public (56%) blame the government for nurses taking industrial action, with a quarter (24%) blaming trade unions and only 12% blaming nurses themselves.

Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said the polling implies that net support for nurses is increasing, whilst the public continue to see the government as the cause of the strikes.

“Sunak would have hoped that, by now, support would begin to wane, but the perception that the government have no real handle on the issue, with no likely end in sight, has ended up damaging the government more than they would have thought,” he said.

“While nurses and healthcare staff more generally are seen to be so essential to everyday life, the government will continue to be seen as the cause of the problems.”

Nurses have continued to receive the most public support out of striking public sector workers.

YouGov polling found nurses had the most support during last year’s winter of strikes, closely followed by ambulance workers.

Last June, 60% of the public said they would support nurses going on strike in a YouGov poll, which grew to 66% by December.

Whilst a recent exclusive poll for Left Foot Forward revealed more voters believe the government has treated striking workers unfairly than those who think its response has been fair.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: Channel 4 News / YouTube)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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