An exclusive poll, conducted by BMG Research for the Evening Standard, today reveals that Britain is split over David Cameron’s attempt to extend military action against Islamic State to Syria.
The Evening Standard has reported the findings today, which suggest the Prime Minister faces a battle to swing opinion behind his “comprehensive strategy” to beat Islamic State.
However, in the first poll completed since the terror attack in Paris last Friday, BMG Research has found potential for a significant shift in favour of extending air strikes into Syria following the atrocities.
Dr Michael Turner, Research Director at BMG Research, suggests that support for air strikes could grow, but “trust” in the government would be a critical factor. “Opinion is finely balanced at the moment, but movement in the polling since Friday suggests that momentum may be shifting towards the extension of air strikes into Syria. Notably, people’s trust in government appears to be key. Some 59% of those who tend to trust government are in support of Syrian strikes, a figure which has risen to 80% since the attacks. On the other hand, support amongst those who tend to distrust government is lower, at just 46%, and has fallen slightly to 43% since Friday.
Opposition to extension of the strikes was higher among women (56%) and young people aged 18 to 24 (64%).
Also in the release, there was strong support for Britain to use its air power to set up safe havens for refugees remaining in Syria, with some 64% in favour, and just 36% against.
The Evening Standard news article can be found here.
Full 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.
Michael Turner – Research Director