Are the British public supportive of extreme climate change protestors?

Norstat, Europe’s largest independent data collection company, has been polling the British public and has gathered some interesting opinions on protests surrounding climate change, which have taken centre stage in recent months.

After various Extinction Rebellion protests disrupting central London in July and August of this year, there has also been disruption on the M25 by a group known as ‘Insulate Britain.’ This group blocked several M25 junctions and have garnered lots of media attention as a result.

Norstat’s poll generated mixed public opinions on the climate change activists’ actions:

  • Almost half (49%) of those who were asked whether they were supportive of Extinction Rebellion’s protests in London said that they were either ‘completely unsupportive’ or they ‘did not know what the protests were ’
  • The most positive responses came from southern pollers – 25% of London and the south-east either ‘completely support’ or ‘are somewhat supportive’ of the protests compared to their Midland and Northern counterparts, both polling 17% in the same categories.
  • When asked whether they would consider joining in on a protest, 67% of Brits said they either ‘would not join’ or that they ‘did not know enough to join’

Rob Agnew, Managing Director at Norstat UK commented on the findings: “What we see here is a rejection from the British public over how Extinction Rebellion carry out their direct action. Their disruptive protests symbolise the general opinion that many of their protests do not impact those with the power to make changes, but people attempting to get on with their daily lives. As ‘Insulate Britain’ gathers press momentum, these findings are extremely telling in showcasing a disappearing patience from the British public to support groups that only seem to disrupt and not look to provide a more informative, educational style of protest over climate change.”

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