The Sun Shines Some Light

BRIN readers might not naturally think of The Sun, perhaps Britain’s most famous weekday tabloid newspaper, as a source of religious intelligence. However, as part of its polling contract with YouGov, it did add a couple of questions on topical issues to a survey conducted online on 20 September among a representative sample of 772 British adults aged 18 and over.

The first sought to quantify what is already being described as the ‘Benedict bounce’, following the recent papal visit to Britain. Respondents were asked whether, on the basis of what they had seen and heard, their opinion of the Pope had changed as a result of the visit. 15% said that their opinion had become more positive and 9% more negative. For 61% the visit had made no difference to their views, while 16% could not say. The positive impact of the visit on perceptions of the Pope was most evidenced among Conservative voters, the under-25s, and residents of London, the Midlands/Wales and Scotland (the three regions where the main events of the visit had been staged). The data tables can be found at:

The second topic covered was that of halal meat, on the back of tabloid newspaper reports that restaurants and caterers are increasingly using halal products surreptitiously, without overtly telling their customers. 73% of Britons in The Sun poll thought that food providers should be required to label halal meat as such and 20% that they should not. The most notable demographic variation was by age, the under-25s (57%) being least insistent on labelling and the over-60s (81%) the most. This follows the general trend of questions relating to Muslim issues whereby younger people are more sympathetic than their elders. For the data tables, see:

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