The arrival of a new prime minister at Downing Street has little effect on the way respondents relate to the ongoing conflict.

While some Britons have become more supportive of their country’s involvement in the Afghanistan mission, a majority remains opposed to the deployment, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 2,003 British adults also shows that respondents still believe that the Government has not provided enough information about Afghanistan.

The Mission

This month, 38 per cent of respondents (up six points since April) say they support the military operation involving UK soldiers in Afghanistan, while 55 per cent are opposed (down four points).

A majority of Britons (56%, -4) believe the country made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan. Also, half of Britons (50%, =) say they have a clear idea of what the war in Afghanistan is about.

When The War is Over

When asked about what they think will be the most likely outcome of the conflict in Afghanistan, 11 per cent of Britons predict a clear victory by U.S. and allied forces over the Taliban, and 34 per cent foresee a negotiated settlement from a position of U.S. and allied strength that gives the Taliban a small role in the Afghan government.

In addition, 15 per cent of respondents expect a negotiated settlement from a position of U.S. and allied weakness that gives the Taliban a significant role in the Afghan government, and 10 per cent believe the Taliban will defeat of U.S. and allied forces.

This question has not gone through any significant shifts since February, with about one third of Britons predicting the end of the war through negotiations and not after the Taliban is defeated.

Obama’s Plan

Three-in-ten Britons (32%, +3) are very or moderately confident that the Obama Administration will be able to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, while a majority (56%, -1) are not too confident or not confident at all.

The Media and the Government

Most people in Britain remain satisfied with the way the country’s media outlets have dealt with the ongoing conflict. Half of respondents (50%, -2) claim that the media in the UK has provided the right amount of attention to Afghanistan, while 20 per cent believe it has been too little, and 16 per cent think it has been too much.

Only three-in-ten Britons (29%, +1) believe that the UK Government has provided the right amount of information about the war in Afghanistan, while half (49%, -1) say it has been too little.

Analysis

While support for the military operation involving UK soldiers in Afghanistan came back to the levels of February 2010, the proportion of opponents remains higher. Other indicators remain consistent: most Britons continue to believe that the war was mistake and very few are expecting a clear military victory over the Taliban.

After the first month of the new administration headed by David Cameron, the needle did not move on the question related to the amount of information about Afghanistan that the government is providing.

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CONTACT:

Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570
mario.canseco@angus-reid.com

From June 4 to June 7, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,003 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/-2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.