Majority of British public support junior doctors striking, poll finds

Poll reveals growing support for striking junior doctors

doctors strike

Public support for striking junior doctors remains in the majority as well as increasing on last month, new polling released today by Ipsos has revealed.

As junior doctors commence their four-day strike, data has shown that the majority of the public support their action, with 54% of those polled saying they strongly/tend to support junior doctors striking.

This reflected a 3% increase from March and since junior doctors and members of the British Medical Association (BMA) took their first round of strike action five weeks ago.

Nearly half (49%) of those polled believed junior doctors are paid too little, compared to 8% who think it’s too much and 32% who believe it’s the right amount.

Junior doctors are calling for pay restorations to address a staff retention crisis and a 26% real-terms cut to their salaries over the past 15 years, according to BMA.

NHS workers continue to receive the highest support from the public for taking industrial action out of different employment sectors, followed by teachers.

(Credit: Ipsos)

Support remained highest for striking nurses and ambulance workers who both received support from 60% of the British public, a 2% and 3% increase on March’s statistics respectively.

Ipsos research director Keiran Pedley said the findings reflected a consistent pattern over time where public support for strike action reflects the profession they hold a more positive view of.

Strike action by junior doctors could stretch until the next election, insiders at the BMA have alluded, as the union accused the government today of failing to prevent the strikes by not coming to the negotiating table, whilst the Health Secretary accused the union of ‘unrealistic’ pay demands.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

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

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