Table of Contents

Introduction

How have the public opinions towards the important bodies in charge of tackling COVID-19 changed over the last year? At Bounce Insights, we are conducting longitudinal research into the public opinions of the Irish public towards public bodies like NPHET, EU and this is our first report on such research. The responses were gathered among 630 respondents across the Republic of Ireland aged between 18 to 44. 

Public Bodies

We asked our panel to describe their overall opinion of a number of public bodies. Almost 1 in 4 respondents are “very favourable” of the European Union. Another third are “somewhat favourable”, while less than 1.16% are “very unfavourable”.  The next body we enquired about was the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). Almost a third of respondents were “somewhat favourable”, along with a little less than a fifth are “very favourable” of NPHET. A higher proportion of respondents are unfavourable towards NPHET, with 8.93% of the panel describing their opinion of them as “very unfavourable”.

31.07% of respondents were “somewhat favourable” of the HSE. Interestingly, 16.69% of respondents were “very unfavourable”, compared to only 9.09% who were “very favourable” towards the HSE. The Irish Government was by far the least favourable body among respondents. An incredible 34.21% of respondents are “very unfavourable” towards the government, with another 25.12% “somewhat unfavourable”. Only 2.15% of respondents describes their opinion of the government as “very favourable”.

Most respondents were neutral regarding their opinion of the Irish Press (i.e. RTE, Virgin News, Irish Independent), with 31.24%. Interestingly, more respondents viewed the press either “very unfavourable” or “somewhat unfavourable” (38.18%), as opposed to viewing the press favourably (29.1%). Notably only 2.31% of respondents were unsure of their opinion of the EU. This is by far the highest portion of unsure respondents for any body discussed.  Additionally, 0.17% of the panel were unsure of their opinion of the HSE, an astonishingly low statistic compared to the other “unsure” portions. 

Country Comparison

38.18% of the respondents think that Ireland is doing “poor” in relation to combatting COVID-19 compared to other countries, while only 2.48% of respondents believe the country is doing “very good” compared to other countries. In relation to the economic recovery / protection, over 60% of respondents had a negative view of how Ireland is doing compared to other countries. Over a quarter of respondents were neutral on the issue, while only 10.41% think Ireland is doing “good” in relation to economic recovery.

In relation to distributing vaccines, the panel is heavily skewed toward the “very poor”/”poor” responses. 45.12% of respondents believe that the country is doing “very poor” compared to other countries, with another third describing the effort as “poor”. Less than 7% of respondents had a positive response to this question. Similarly on the question regarding the country’s reopening, the graph is skewed to left with almost half of respondents (47.77%) rating the country’s reopening compared to other countries as “very poor”.

Brexit

We asked our respondents “Have you felt the impact of Brexit in any aspect of your life so far?” Almost half of respondents answered “No, I haven’t noticed any impact so far”, with another quarter (26.61%) saying “Yes, my personal life have been impacted”. Only 9.42% of respondents responded with “Yes, my professional life has been impacted”. Less than 15% have had brexit impact both their personal and professional lives.

Row chart of the impact of brexits on aspects of respondent's life, with 49.59% saying "No, I haven't noticed any impact so far".

The Future

Finally we asked “Overall, how would you describe your optimism for the future right now? On a scale of 0 (Extremely Pessimistic) to 10 (Extremely Optimistic):” 3 was selected by the highest number of respondents (17.52%). Another 17.03% of respondents selected 2 or lower, which would indicate that a significant portion of respondents are pessimistic about the future. Approximately 10% of respondents ranked their optimism as 8 or higher. 

Row chart of the leading emotion over the last two months among respondents, with 31.9% and 31.24% selecting Uncertainty / Helplessness and Frustration / Anger respectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Most consumers view the Irish government unfavourable, with 34.21% of respondents describing their opinion of the government as “very unfavourable” and only 2.15% have a “very favourable” opinion.
  • In relation to distributing vaccines and reopening, nearly half of respondents ranked the country’s efforts as “very poor” compared to other countries. Roughly 30% believe we are doing “very poor” in relation to economic recovery as well. 
  • Half of respondents do not feel the impact of Brexit. Out of the consumers who do feel the impact, most experience it through their personal lives, as opposed to their professional lives.

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