Partisanship and the Pandemic

Do voters accurately evaluate government performance and responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic, or does partisan bias get in the way?

The research of Professor Geoff Evans and NPRS Research Officer, Dan Snow, employs an experimental approach to understand the implications of partisan bias on voters' evaluations of:

The UK's overall experience of the pandemic
The government's responsibility for pandemic outcomes
Memories of the government's early handling of the pandemic
Optimism about the government's ability to handle future strains of coronavirus

Initial results suggest that many partisans have already incorporated some degree of bias into their evaluations, particularly individuals with high levels of political attention. There is also evidence that, in general, voters rely heavily on heuristics when recounting the government's past performance, even for an issue as recent and salient as the start of the coronavirus pandemic.