Railway workers are walking out for a second time on Thursday over job cuts, pay and conditions, and polls show public opinion towards the train strikes remains divided.
Around 35 per cent of Brits quizzed by pollsters Ipsos said they supported the walkout, while the same percentage said they oppose it.
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But once the reasons for the strikes were explained to the 1,000 Brits being polled, support grew with 41 per cent backing striking workers while just over a third continued to oppose the industrial action.
Talks between the RMT union and Network Rail are ongoing ahead of a third planned day of action on Saturday, but there is no sign of an agreement to end the strike. RMT boss Mick Lynch warned on Thursday that more action beyond Saturday is “extremely likely”.
Keiran Pedley, director of politics at Ipsos, said: “As it stands, the public are divided over whether they support or oppose the current rail strikes, with younger Britons and Labour voters more supportive and older Britons and Conservatives typically more opposed. Passengers receive the most sympathy from the public, although a majority sympathise with railway workers too.”
In total, 86 per cent of the Brits polled by Ipsos said they had sympathy with rail passengers while 62 per cent said their thoughts were with railway workers. There was a bigger divide over railway unions – 44 per cent of people express sympathy for unions while 47 per cent were less sympathetic.