Support for the strikes

There was a near even split between those supporting the unions ahead of the planned strikes on November the 30th and those supporting the government with around one in four people unsure as to which side is right.

Q. Which of the following is closest to your point of view?

Public sector workers should strike to protect their pensions against the changes being proposed by the government 40%
The government should continue with their proposed reforms to public sector pensions even if there are more strikes 37%
Don’t know 23%
Base all adults 18+ 1,252

Public sector workers were more likely to support the statement that they should strike to protect their pensions but not by an overwhelming margin. 62% of public sector workers agreed that they should strike to protect their pensions but 21% said they were not sure and 17% said that actually the government should carry on with the reforms in spite of any strikes.

Impact of the strikes

Only 12% of people said that they personally would be affected a lot by the planned public sector strikes on 30th November. Parents with children aged 16 or under were more likely to say that they would be affected a lot but still only one in five parents (19%) said this.

Q. To what extent do you think you will be personally affected by the public sector strikes planned for November 30th?

A lot 12%
A little 25%
Hardly at all 31%
Not at all 22%
Don’t know 11%
Base all adults 18+ 1,252

Interestingly people who said they were most likely to be affected by the strikes were the most likely to actually support public sector workers in their decision to strike. 70% of people who said they would be affected a lot said they supported the strikes compared to just 34% of those who said they would be hardly affected at all.

Understanding of the strikes

Just over one in four people (27%) said that they knew nothing, or hardly anything at all, about why public sector workers were planning to go on strike.

Q. How much do you feel you know about why public sector workers plan to strike on November 30th?

A lot 29%
A little 44%
Hardly anything at all 16%
Nothing at all 11%
Base all adults 18+ 1,252

There is a marked divide between workers in the public and private sector as to their knowledge about why the strikes are going ahead. Just over half of all public sector workers said that they knew a lot about why the strikes were happening (51%) compared to less than one in twenty private sector workers (4%).

Sample size 1252
Fieldwork dates 24-28th November 2011
Interview method Online
Population sampled All adults aged 18+ in Great Britain
Sampling method The poll was conducted through the TNS OnlineBus. Invitations to complete the questionnaire are emailed out to a sample of GB online panellists who have agreed to participate in market research. The survey is open for a limited time period and then closed off a few days later.
Data weighting Data is weighted to the profile of all adults aged 18+ in Great Britain for working status within gender, age within gender, presence of children and Government Office Region. Data is also weighted to the 2010 General Election results. Respondents who could not recall their vote were given an imputed value based on their demographic characteristics in order to allow the weights to be calculated. Unweighted and weighted bases are shown at the top of each data table.
Further enquiries: Nick.Howat@tns-bmrb.co.uk
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