Survation COVID-19 public attitude tracker

Anxiety about the future grows for Britain’s workers and in the battle for trusted information, the NHS towers above all.


We surveyed 3,000 people in April about the COVID-19 crisis on a range of questions from concern about jobs and their organisations, to how they are receiving information from their employers, the government, and the media and whose information they trust the most.


Following on from our survey in March, there remains widespread anxiety about the effects of the crisis on people’s jobs and their companies. The number of people who are either very or quite concerned about their jobs has increased seven points to 61% since last month’s tracker survey. Meanwhile, wider concerns about the overall economy have grown in the past month with those who are very concerned rising 14 points to 60%.



Where is the public getting their information? 


Access to good trusted information during a public health crisis is essential and Survation has been working with organisations to help them with their internal and stakeholder communications.


We have looked at where workers are getting their information, from their employer, government, NHS and other official sources, and also from the media. The news media and the UK Government are the most frequently selected sources of information. Notably, information from local / county / regional councils has had the greatest increase, plus 26 percentage points, since our March tracker survey.



We have also looked at methods of employer communication, among those who are getting information from their employer.



The lockdown and working from home has obviously led to a large proportion of internal communications via email but the large gap between email and other, usually more effective channels, suggests there is vast scope for improvements to employer-worker communication during this period.


And who does the public trust the most to tell them the truth?


There has been much recent discussion about who is trusted to provide information on COVID. We’ve asked people to rate their trust from all sources of information, including from friends and family, employer, NHS, government and the media. The most trusted sources of information overall is from the NHS, and with the Scottish government the most trusted source from a list including the UK devolved governments.


In the media, there hasn’t been a noted reduction in trust, and it’s worth noting that there is generally always a healthy scepticism from the public on this front. There is a clear demarcation in levels of trust according to different types of media. Broadcast media is the most trusted (perhaps because it is the most regulated), with the BBC the most trusted outlet. As you’d expect,  broadsheet newspapers have the next highest trust followed by ‘tabloid’ newspapers which have lower levels of trust.


This table provides the breakdown:





Survation conducted an online survey of 3,029 adults in the UK. Fieldwork was between 16th – 23rd April 2020. Methodology and data tables are available here.



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