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Olympics boosts opinion of BBC, Royal Family and London

Ipsos MORI Political Monitor August 2012

Published:15 August 2012
Fieldwork:11 - 13 August 2012
Source:Social Research Institute
Keywords:BBC, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, London, London 2012 Olympics, Monarchy, NHS, Olympics, Politics/Political, Royal Family
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Britons say the Olympic Games has had a positive effect on their views of the BBC, the Royal Family and the people of London, according to a new Ipsos MORI post-Olympics poll. Four in five people (81%) said the London Games has had a positive effect on their opinion of the broadcaster, seven in ten (70%) of the Royal Family and for around three quarters (74%) their opinion of Londoners.

Also benefiting from the halo effect are Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and London’s public transport system, with 61% and 57% respectively saying they now have a more positive view of them. The halo effect has not been quite as strong for Prime Minister, David Cameron. Forty-three per cent say the Olympics has had a positive effect on their opinion of him. Unsurprisingly, for both Conservative politicians, the greatest positive change is amongst Conservative voters – 80% for Mr Johnson and 69% for Mr Cameron.

The NHS and patients and staff from its Great Ormond Street Hospital played a part in the opening ceremony, and two in five (39%) said the Olympics has had a positive effect on their opinion of the NHS. Almost half (48%) said the Olympics has made no difference to their opinion of the NHS, however.

Londoners are mostly likely to say the Olympics has had a positive impact on their views of their fellow citizens of the capital, with 83% of Londoners saying the games has had a positive effect compared to 74% overall. Residents of the capital are also most likely to say it has given them a positive view of their transport system with 65% saying there has been a positive impact compared to 57% overall.

Prior to the Games, Mr Johnson suggested that they would provide a big economic boost to the capital and over half would seem to agree with his sentiment. A majority think that the London Games will have a short-term positive impact on London’s economy (69%) as well as the economy as whole (58%). Slightly fewer people are convinced that the impact will continue into the long run – 55% for London’s economy and 47% for the UK economy.

Britons give most credit for the success of the Games to the athletes (66%), the Games Makers (58%), Lord (Sebastian) Coe and the London Organising Committee (55%) and the army (24%). Only 2% give most credit for the success of the London Olympics Games to Mr Cameron. Mr Johnson and his office receive slightly more credit (12%).

The public also attributed relatively lower levels of credit to:
  • The public transport system (13%);
  • The sponsors (10%);
  • The previous Labour government (6%);
  • Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London (3%); and
  • The current government (3%).

Ipsos MORI Poll: The Olympic Effect: August 2012 from Ipsos MORI


Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, Gideon Skinner, said:

“Winning gold from the public are the athletes, volunteers, the Royal Family, the BBC, Sebastian Coe and LOCOG, and London itself. The Games have even made Londoners feel good about themselves and their capital.”

Technical Notes

1. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s, comments on a boost to London’s economic growth were reported in The Daily Telegraph on 22 July 2012.

2. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,007 adults 18+ across Great Britain by telephone, from August 11 to 13 2012. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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Gideon Skinner
Gideon Skinner

Head of Political Research