As Rio gets in the Samba spirit for the start of the Olympic games this Friday, the latest BMG poll reveals that, four years on from London’s nation-building games, not all of the public seem to be contracting Olympic fever this time around.

Over half of Britons (53%) showed little interest in keeping track of Team GB’s success in the games, saying they would be keeping up with things a little (32%) or not at all (21%). In comparison, just under a fifth (18%) felt a great deal of their time would be spent following the games whilst 30% said they would be following a fair amount.

Of the countries represented by Team GB, the Welsh were most eager to follow proceedings with a quarter (26%) saying they would be following the games a great deal compared to 14% saying they wouldn’t be following them at all. In contrast, less than one in ten (6%) Scots said they would be following the games a great deal compared to four times that (24%) who said they wouldn’t be following at all.


Young most interested

Young people were most keen with 54% of 18-24 year olds saying they felt they would be spending either a fair amount (34%) or a great deal (20%) of time following events.  Comparatively, whilst 43% of those slightly older (25-34)intended to follow the games a great (19%) or fair amount (24%), six in ten (57%) showed little (32%) or no (25%) desire to keep track of things, suggesting other priorities may dominate for those in this age group.


Kippers less interested in team GB

Seen through political spectacles, would be Ukippers were least excited by the prospect of the games; around two thirds (64%) showed a lack of enthusiasm, with 28% said they wouldn’t be following the games at all. Interestingly, Lib Dems, who were on the other side of the debate during the EU referendum, showed the most interest in following the games with 56% saying they would be following the games a great deal (17%) or a fair amount (39%) and only 13% saying they wouldn’t be following at all.


Not quite Olympics 2.0

Television dominates as the main source of coverage for what goes on in Rio, with nine in ten (90%) saying they will use this platform compared to four in ten (40%) using news and dedicated websites and around a fifth (23%) reading in newspapers and magazines. Unsurprisingly, of those following by social media (31%), a significant majority were aged 18-24 (60%) whilst just one in ten (10%) were aged 65+.

Finally, in the stands, athletes shouldn’t expect much noise from Brits; from those surveyed, less than half of a percent said they may be making the long journey to Brazil to watch the games in person.

Data tables containing a breakdown of the results can be found here.

Fieldwork information and methodology can be found here.


For further details about this poll, and any other results from our polling series, please feel free to get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006




George Bascom – Junior Research Executive – BMG Research




Jemma Conner – Junior Research Executive – BMG Research




Dr Michael Turner – Research Director – BMG Research

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