HomeNewsBorder Force Strikes Breakdown: 41% Adults Surveyed In Support Of Strikes vs 38% Opposed
Border Force Strikes Breakdown: 41% Adults Surveyed In Support Of Strikes vs 38% Opposed

Border Force Strikes Breakdown: 41% Adults Surveyed In Support Of Strikes vs 38% Opposed

Last updated
Affiliate Disclosure

Border Force staff strikes have been a hotly contested issue this week, as leaked emails reveal plans from the government to potentially ban workers from joining a union under new anti-strike legislation. Here, provides an in-depth analysis of the public opinion on the matter – revealing massive divisions across political standings, regions, and generations.

Jonathan Merry, CEO of, comments:

Border force staff going on strike affects the millions of tourists and holidaymakers passing through UK airports every day – from long queues at passport control to the cancellation and rescheduling of flights to account for reduced staffing levels.

However, the research shows a general inclination to support staff in their demand for increase pay, working conditions, and rights – despite clear divides across political views, generations, and regionality.”

Key findings:

  • 34% of Labour party supporters surveyed strongly support the strikes, compared with just 4% of Conservative party supporters
  • Millennials are the most likely Generation to support the strikes taking place, whilst Boomers (65+) are most in opposition
  • While the regions more supportive of the strikes are in-line with their typical political standpoint, regions are far more united in their support or opposition of the strikes overall

Border force strikes explained

A series of leaked emails suggests the current government is actively considering banning border force staff from joining a trade union, with striking set to become a criminal offence altogether, as revealed by The Observer this week. 

Public and Commercial Services general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said: “These emails reveal that while the government publicly is saying we want to resolve the dispute, behind the scenes they were preparing the biggest attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms that we would have seen in this country for generations.

The leaked emails follow the Border Force staff strikes last month, in which over 1,000 staff ceased working between December 23rd – 26th and December 28th – 31st in major airports across the UK, with military personnel brought in to support the airports.

Public support for strike action

One might assume that the public are largely opposed to the strikes due to the inconvenience caused to thousands of holidaymakers travelling over the Christmas holidays, but a recent survey from YouGov actually revealed the opposite.

15% of people surveyed were strongly in support of the Border Force staff strikes, while 26% (the largest category) said they tend to support the strikes over pay, jobs, and working conditions. In contrast, just 20% tended to oppose the strike action, while 18% strongly opposed the strikes.

Regionally united but politically divided

When we dive deeper into the research, we can see a huge divide between political party standings. In the same survey, the overwhelming majority of people in strong support or tending to support the Border Force strikes aligned themselves with the Labour party (34% and 35% respectively). 

In stark contrast, just 4% of people who align with the Conservative party were in strong support of the strikes – with 36% of Conservative respondents strongly opposing the action.

Interestingly, however, those in support or opposition to the Border Force strikes are fairly united across regions. Notably, the North and Scotland are more likely to lend strong support to the issue than London (13%) and the rest of the South (10%). However, across all regions with the exception of Scotland, between 16 – 22% of respondents strongly opposed the strikes – with just 9% of people from Scotland saying the same.

Though the regional differences are mildly inline with each region’s political standpoint – with London, the North, and Scotland having the most respondents who strongly support the Border Force strikes and also typically aligning more closely with the Labour.

Generational differences

The millennial age group (25 – 49) are most in support of the Border Force strikes, with 17% in strong support and 26% tending to support the move.  This is closely followed by Gen X respondents (50 – 64), 26% of whom tend to support the strikes while 14% strongly support.

At the other end of the scale, Boomers (65+) are the least supportive generation. 28% of respondents in this generation strongly opposed Border Force strikes, with just 11% in strong support.

Yasmin Purnell
Yasmin Purnell
Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for Yasmin has a wealth of experience writing across a range of topics within the personal finance, student, and business niche. Yasmin joined the team with the one main mission to provide accessible financial, career and business information and advice for all.