Classics New study: Large majority considers continuation of the lockdown to be correct
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It is more common to hear that popular support for combating the corona pandemic is crumbling and trust in politics is falling. The Forsa Institute's continuous corona monitoring shows something else: As since the outbreak of the pandemic, a large majority of German citizens (between 70 and 75 percent) always consider the measures taken to contain the corona virus to be appropriate or even in the new year not far enough.
And also the now decided extension of the lockdown - as a forsa survey for the RTL media group shows the day after the resolutions - almost three quarters (72 percent) is correct. Only the majority (66 to 84 percent) of the supporters of the FDP and AfD do not consider the extension to be right. However, it is becoming increasingly critical how the measures that are largely found to be correct come about. The main complaint is the disagreement between the federal states. Currently 58 percent of German citizens would have thought it would be better if a nationwide uniform procedure had been agreed for the opening of daycare centers and schools. The dissatisfaction with the federal school and education system, which was already quite high before Corona, is likely to increase further due to the Corona crisis. The unchanged high level of general approval for the measures to combat the pandemic will by no means crumble even after the lockdown has been extended, despite the lamented lack of consensus between the individual countries.
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However, some political actors allow themselves to be guided more strongly in their decisions by horror scenarios spread in the media and especially in social networks instead of orienting themselves on the actual assessments of the people. For them, however, the corona crisis is still the biggest problem at the moment. The German citizens do not have unrealistic expectations of politics, but rather a sober realism. Only a minority of 13 percent believe that a return to normal everyday life as before Corona will be possible in the course of 2021. The vast majority of 86 percent do not believe this. Only 24 percent consider the warnings about the corona mutants to be exaggerated (a majority of 64 and 80 percent only believe the supporters of the FDP and AfD), but 72 percent consider it appropriate.
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High approval ratings for the Union
Video: Merkel on the lockdown: "We have to be patient" (AFP)
That the criticism of the implementation of the resolutions and the realistic expectations of their effectiveness do not undermine trust in politics as a whole also show the unchanged high approval ratings for the Union and its most important political actors (Merkel, Söder, Spahn), while the sharpest critics of the corona pandemic - FDP and AfD - received significantly less approval than in the 2017 federal elections.
Also those in particular from FDP and The AfD's view that the economic and social consequences of the measures taken to combat the corona pandemic are now more serious than the health consequences for the population is not shared by the majority of German citizens (57 percent).
Only 16 percent of supporters of the SPD, 24 and 25 percent of supporters of the Union and the Greens and 31 percent of supporters of the Left, but 78 percent of FDP and 86 percent of AfD supporters hold this assessment correct. Incidentally, significantly fewer of the FDP voters in the 2017 federal election (42 percent) share this view - an indication that the FDP has been in danger of developing into a kind of “apron organization” of the AfD since 2017.
Even the extension of the lockdown has not led to a lower acceptance of the measures to combat the pandemic or even to a general drop in confidence in politics. The political actors should therefore not disappoint the citizens' expectations of an energetic and consistent fight against the pandemic.
Manfred Güllner is the managing director of the Forsa Society for Social Research and Statistical Analysis.
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