In a follow up to The Great Big Lockdown Survey which ran in May last year after the first lockdown, Belfast Live publisher Reach put out the second instalment in its lockdown themed reader surveys that run across all its news sites in NI and Ireland in January and got a huge increase in the number of respondents.
Looking at the results of the Belfast Live survey specifically, the response rate was 14 times higher than the first time around, with a total of 14,456 readers having their say on the impact of lockdown 3 versus the first lockdown in March 2020.
When Belfast Live readers were asked what they thought about the return of a full lockdown, 81% agreed with the decision. 83% of respondents also agreed that people should stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to go out.
More than three quarters (80%) agreed with shutting schools and going back to online teaching with 76% in agreement that all schools should be shut (except for vulnerable and children of key workers). One-third of readers said nurseries should be open, however 58% disagreed.
When asked about the government’s handling of breaking rules and issuing fines as a result, 42% said the £200 fine police can issue for a first offence is “about right”, with 28% saying “it’s not enough” and 30% saying “it’s too much”.
Other questions surveyed included opinions on exercising with one other person, elite sport, the amount of people allowed at funerals and whether or not parks and playgrounds should remain open or not.
According to LesleyAnn Diffin who does brand communications for Reach, the 14,456 reader responses is a sign that “our readers trust our news brands enough to be able to share their opinions and views in such numbers.”
The survey series is powered by ‘Mindsets’, Reach’s ever-evolving directory of data-driven audience insights across its media brands. The offering is unique to Reach’s Irish newsbrands and enables the editorial and commercial teams to create content solutions that its audiences can relate to that advertisers can also avail of.
Similar surveys were put out across Reach’s ROI news titles – Irish Mirror, Dublin Live, RSVP Live, and Cork Beo – making the total number of responses to the survey across all five sites 53,389, the biggest ever.