BBC East Afghanistan Poll

 Attitudes towards the war in Afghanistan conducted for BBC East, published 3 March 2010

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Date Published
03 Mar 2010

Further Description

BBC East must be credited if any excerpt is used.

Fifty percent of people in Great Britain believe large numbers of British troops will still be needed in Afghanistan in five years time.

That’s according to an opinion poll commissioned by the BBC for a special programme ‘ Afghanistan: The War in the East’ to be broadcast on BBC One East on Wednesday March 3rd at 7.30

Equally worrying for the Government is that poll suggests that the majority of people believe the war in Afghanistan is ‘unwinnable’ despite the early successes of Operation Moshtarak and the American troop surge.

In November 2009, before the much publicised operation to clear the Taliban from large areas of Helmand, A BBC poll suggested that 64% of people believed ‘The War in Afghanistan is unwinnable.’ Four months later that figure has crept up fractionally to 65%.

According to the poll, the number of people who believe British forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan as quickly as possible has remained static at 63% but there’s a clear distinction between social groups here with 52% of professional ABs agreeing with this  statement compared to 74% DEs.

The percentage of people who feel they have a good understanding of the purpose of Britain’s mission in Afghanistan has gone up marginally from 54% in November 2009 to 56% now.

Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell, (Labour) Essex North MP Bernard Jenkin, (Conservative) Colchester MP Bob Russell (Liberal Democrat) and Inayat Bunglawala from Muslims4UK will be debating the war in a special programme to be broadcast from the garrison town of Colchester on BBC One (East) on Wednesday March 3rd at 7.30pm.

They will be joined by a specially invited audience, including relatives of those serving in Afghanistan, Afghan nationals and representatives of the Muslim Community in Luton.

The results in full:

The war in Afghanistan is unwinnable

Agree: 65% (Nov 09 64%)

Disagree: 28% (Nov 09 27%)

Don’t know: 7% (Nov 09 10%)

 Ø  Despite the reported early successes of Operation Moshtarak, public opinion has not changed, with the same proportion of people saying the same in November 2009 and February 2010.

All British forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan as quickly as possible

Agree: 63%  (Nov 09 63%)

Disagree: 34% (Nov 09 31%)

Don’t know: 3%  (Nov 09 6%)

 Ø  As always in questions of this type, women are less pugilistic than men – 69% and 57% respectively agree that armed forces should be withdrawn from Afghanistan as quickly as possible.

Ø  There is a clear trend by social group: 52% of ABs agree with this statement compared to 74% of DEs.

I feel that I have a good understanding of the purpose of Britain’s mission in Afghanistan

Agree: 56% (Nov 09 54%)

Disagree: 41% (Nov 09 42%)

Don’t know: 3% (Nov 09 4%)

 Ø  There are differences in understanding of the purpose of Britain’s mission in 44% of people in social group DE agree that they have a good understanding, compared to 64% of people in social group AB.

Large numbers of British troops will still be needed in Afghanistan five years from now

Agree: 50%

Disagree: 46%

Don’t know: 4%

 Ø  Half of all people (50%) think that large numbers of British troops will still be needed in Afghanistan five years from now.

Ø  There is a noticeable jump in opinion among people aged 55-64, 65% of whom agree that large numbers of British troops will still be needed in Afghanistan five years from now.

 

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