As giant Olympic rings are hoisted into place on Tower Bridge, our monthly mood tracker shows that Olympic fever is finally starting to take hold. Excitement and the belief that the Games will be good for Britain have both shot up. No doubt, the growing media frenzy might have something to do with this: with just over 4 weeks until events kick off, you can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing something about the Olympics.
Pride in being British is holding firm this month but we did expect more of boost after the flag-waving fever of the long Jubilee weekend. After all, no one pulls off nationwide celebrations quite like the British; who else would hold a pop concert, a 1000-boat flotilla and a firework display in torrential rain?
When we look deeper though, pride has increased across the board with one glaring regional exception – Scotland. Scots pride in being British dropped by almost a whole point from 7.65 to 6.87 this month. If we look at the British average excluding Scotland, the overall figure would have reached 7.8. So perhaps the Jubilee had a negative effect on the spirits of those north of the border? With pretty much every commemorative event happening in London, it’s not hard to see how the Jubilee could have been perceived as an England-centric event.
Excitement has risen since the last mood tracker, with an increase of 4% in line with a number of preliminary Olympic events. Earlier this month the British Olympic Association selected the athletes that will be competing in London 2012 and on 17th May Greece officially handed over the Olympic torch to London – well, to David Beckham to be precise, and nobody gets us excited quite like Becks.
Regionally, excitement is most pronounced in the Midlands. As Loughborough is acting as the headquarters for most of the GB team, anticipation is almost certainly radiating out, fuelling hopes for a record number of medals.
It seems that Brits are finally coming round to the idea that the Olympics will be a good thing for us. With an increase of 7%, a majority of 60% now think that the Olympics will have a positive impact on Britain. What’s more, this sentiment has most notably increased amongst 18-34 year olds (68% – up 18% from last month). As we’re edging ever more closely towards July and the opening ceremony when all eyes will be on Britain, maybe the younger generation, generally less cynical than the older generation, are looking forward to being in the spotlight.
So what can we take from this month’s tracker? Well it looks like Lord Coe was right when he said “The nature of British people is that they don’t get overly excited about things too quickly” – for it has taken 5 months for us Brits to finally feel a flutter in our bellies.
UPDATE (16 JULY 2012): Watch JWT London’s James Whitehead talk about the Tracker on Sky News below
Click here for May’s Olympic Mood Tracker
Note: JWT surveyed 350 British citizens in June 2012. Regional samples have been weighted to be nationally representative.
1. On a scale of 1-10 (where 1=not at all proud and 10=extremely proud) can you tell us how proud you are to be British?
2. How far would you agree that you are excited about the Olympic Games this Summer?
3. How far do you agree that the Olympic Games will be good for Britain?