ITV News Iraq Poll

ComRes interviewed 1,088 British adults online on 12th August 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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Date Published
11 Aug 2014

Further Description

 COMRES / ITV NEWS SNAP POLL REVEALS SUPPORT FOR BRITISH AIRSTRIKES ON I.S. MILITANTS IN IRAQ

A snap poll, conducted today by ComRes for ITV News, reveals support for British airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq, though much less support for sending in British ground troops. 

Britons are more likely to support (45%) than oppose (37%) British fighter planes conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Two thirds of Britons (63%) oppose sending British ground troops into Iraq. Just 18% would support this. This may be the reason why, when asked the principle in general, half of Brits say that they would oppose British military intervention in Iraq (49%), compared to a third (31%) who would support it. 

On humanitarian aid, the majority of Brits support the British Government sending humanitarian aid to civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar (84%) and using British helicopters to fly them to safety (73%). Half (50%) support the Government offering Iraqi Christians asylum. 

Looking at the consequences of taking action, most Brits (55%) think that British military involvement in Iraq would make a terrorist attack in Britain more likely. One third (32%) think it would make no difference and only 3% think it would make a terrorist attack less likely. In terms of the impact it would have of on the Iraqi population, just one in four Britons (27%) think British military involvement would improve the situation for ordinary Iraqis. A quarter think it would make no difference (28%), while a quarter think it would actually make the situation for ordinary Iraqis worse (25%). 

Two thirds of Brits say that they blame Tony Blair (67%) and George Bush (66%) a great deal or a fair amount for the current crisis in Iraq. 84% blame IS (ISIS) and three quarters (77%) blame the Iraqi Government. Only around a quarter blame Obama (26%) and Cameron (22%).

Britons are split about whether Cameron should come home from holiday to deal with the crisis: 42% think he should, while 43% think there is little he can do anyway so should stay on holiday. 

Tom Mludzinski, Head of Political Polling at ComRes said: “Since the 2003 Iraq War, the British public has been reticent about our military being used abroad. However, with some regard for Britain’s responsibility to Iraq and the crisis developing there, there is some support for airstrikes. However, sending in troops on the ground is still a step too far for the majority”.

 

RESULTS IN DETAIL:

Taking action

Q: Would you support or oppose the British Government doing each of the following in Iraq, in response to Islamic State militants (formerly known as ISIS) attacking religious minorities?

Action

Support

Oppose

Don’t know

Sending humanitarian aid (e.g. food and water) to Iraqi civilians trapped by Islamist militants on Mount Sinjar

84%

8%

8%

Sending British helicopters to airlift Iraqi civilians currently trapped by Islamist militants on Mount Sinjar

73%

14%

13%

Britain giving asylum to Iraqi Christians currently at risk of death

50%

29%

20%

British fighter planes conducting airstrikes against Islamist militants

45%

37%

19%

British troops going into Iraq to fight the Islamist militants

18%

63%

20%

Base: All GB adults (n=1,088)

Responsibility for current crisis

Q: How much, if at all, do you blame each of the following for the current situation in Iraq?

 

NET: Great deal/fair amount

A great deal

A fair amount

Not very much

Not at all

Don’t know

IS (formerly ISIS) the Islamist militant group

84%

70%

14%

3%

1%

12%

The Iraqi Government

77%

35%

42%

8%

2%

13%

Tony Blair

67%

40%

27%

12%

7%

14%

George W Bush

66%

43%

24%

11%

6%

16%

Barack Obama

26%

7%

19%

39%

18%

17%

David Cameron

22%

6%

16%

39%

23%

16%

Base: All GB adults (n=1,088)

 

Leadership 

Q: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way each of the following is handling the crisis in Iraq? 

 

Satisfied

Dissatisfied

Don’t know

Prime Minister, David Cameron and his government

30%

43%

27%

US President, Barack Obama

42%

31%

27%

The United Nations (UN)

19%

49%

32%

Base: All GB adults (n=1,088)

 

METHODOLOGY: ComRes interviewed 1,088 British adults online on 12th August 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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