An exclusive BMG poll commissioned by the Evening Standard revealed 35% of UK adults believe Britain should support the Syrian President, Bashar Assad in order to defeat Islamic State. 26% say Britain should not support Assad, even if it meant losing ground to IS, and 39% said they didn’t know.

The Evening Standard reported “The UK is prepared for Assad to remain in power in the short term but believes he has to eventually go to heal the bitter wounds between Syria’s communities.”

Interestingly, the data reveals this may be quite a difficult issue for Britons to weigh-up, with 39% undecided on the matter. A closer look at the data shows that 51% of women said they didn’t know compared with just 26% of men

Our Research Director, Michael Turner, said “The polling suggests that women are twice as likely as men to be undecided on the issue, a ratio which is actually quite typical of the polling on military intervention and similar topics. However, what’s interesting in this instance is the very high proportion of women, over half, who said they didn’t know which option they preferred. This is perhaps reflective of an increasing ‘fogginess’ on the issue of Assad’s leadership, with people finding it hard to distinguish which is the lesser of the two evils devastating the Syrian state, Assad or the so-called ‘Islamic State’.”

The poll also found that 33% believe Briton should deploy ground combat troops in Syria and Iraq to combat Islamic State, with 44% against this and 23% don’t know. Men are significantly more likely than women to back using UK ground troops by 41% to 24%.

An article based on these polling results, released by the Evening Standard, can be found here.

Data tables containing a breakdown of the results 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.


Lauren Harris – Research Executive



0121 333 6006


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