The anti-capitalist protesters who have been camped out in Paternoster Square next to St Paul’s Cathedral since 15 October, having been thwarted in their original plan to occupy the London Stock Exchange, continue to divide public opinion.
This is according to an online poll of 1,001 adult residents (aged 18 and over) of inner and outer London undertaken between 23 and 27 November 2011 by ComRes for the Evening Standard, ITV’s London Tonight programme and LBC.
Headline findings appeared in the Evening Standard for 29 November 2011, and the full results of the relevant questions, with breaks by demographics, can be found on page 20 of the data tables at:
Asked whether the protesters should be allowed to stay outside the cathedral for as long as they chose, 56% of Londoners disagreed, exactly twice the proportion who agreed, with 17% expressing no opinion.
This majority was somewhat eroded by the prospect of violence to end the occupation, with 8% fewer (48%) wanting the site to be cleared as soon as possible, by force if necessary. 37% took the contrary view, with 16% unsure what to think.
The ‘anti-protesters’ identified through these two questions were more likely to be men than women, old than young, to live in outer than inner London, to vote Conservative than Labour, and to back Boris Johnson rather than Ken Livingstone as candidate for London mayor. Johnson has branded the protesters ‘hemp-smoking, fornicating hippies’.
ComRes did not expressly test out attitudes towards the legal moves now being taken by the Corporation of London to evict the campers. A High Court hearing has been scheduled for 19 December.
However, in two earlier national polls by YouGov (on 27-28 October and 3-4 November) about half of Londoners endorsed legal action, with 50% opposing and 21% approving of the protest, even though 44% sympathized with the aims of the protesters.
You can read about these previous Occupy London polls at: