UK Government

Department for Culture, Media And Sport: Public more confident than ever in successful Olympics

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2009 10:32 GMT

A nationwide survey shows that public support for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 remains high, with confidence that the UK will stage a successful Games growing to 79 per cent from 76 per cent last year.

With just under three years to go, over three-quarters (75 per cent) of people are pleased that London is hosting the Games. This compares with 78 per cent in the previous survey a year ago which was conducted following Team GB’s success at the Beijing Olympics.

When asked about the benefits of the Games, 78 per cent said they believe the benefits should be wider than just sport, with nearly a third (31 per cent) of people saying unprompted they want help for the UK economy to be a long-term benefit from 2012. Increased participation in sport is considered an important benefit by 18 per cent of respondents.

As in previous years, strongest support from a nation or region comes from Northern Ireland (83 per cent) followed by London (80 per cent). People living in the host boroughs are the most supportive at 85 per cent. Young people aged 16 – 24 years also remain positive about the Games with support at 79 per cent, while people from Asian ethnic groups are some of the Games’ biggest supporters at 81 per cent. Even where enthusiasm is lowest, support remained at more than two-thirds at 67 per cent in the North East.

Seventy-one per cent said they believed the Games will have a positive effect on the UK as a whole, and 82 per cent think there will be a positive effect on London. In the host boroughs, 84 per cent believe there will be a positive impact on London. When asked about the impact on their own lives, 25 per cent anticipate a positive impact (55 per cent in the Host Boroughs) and 24 per cent on their local community (46 per cent in the Host Boroughs).

Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said:

"This research shows that public confidence that London 2012 will be a success has grown to 79 per cent after another year of good progress across the Olympic programme.

"It also shows that people want the Games to help the economy, with one in three saying that this was a benefit they wanted to see from the Games. In a difficult year the Olympics has created jobs and helped to keep order books busy up and down the country, a key factor in maintaining support for the Games.

"But we are not complacent, and nor do we take the public’s support for granted. We want London 2012 to be everyone’s Games which is why it is important that we know what their priorities are."

Among other findings, the poll suggests that:

- 72 per cent nationally are interested in London 2012 - the figure in London itself is 80 per cent and 86 per cent in the Host Boroughs;
- 43 per cent believe that the benefits of 2012 should be felt after the Games as opposed to in the run-up (20 per cent) or at Games time (30 per cent);
- 49 per cent believe ensuring the long-term benefits for the UK is more important than securing a high medal tally in 2012 (13 per cent);
- 35 per cent feel that they know about current plans for the Games (51 per cent in the Host Boroughs);
- 33 per cent would give up their time to a local Olympic inspired activity (48 per cent amongst young people);
- 76 per cent are confident that effective security will be in place for the Games.

This is the third annual survey conducted to help develop plans to maximise the legacy from staging the Games – identifying the public’s priorities across a range of issues.

Notes to Editors

1. The research is available at  http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/6529.aspx

2. A nationally representative sample of 4568 people aged16 and over from across the United Kingdom was used. They were interviewed face-to-face between 14 October and 7 November 2009 by Continental Research.

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