In the U.S., mask-wearing is completely politicized, with Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany describing it as "Orwellian" as his supporters die of Covid while insisting they don't have it. In the UK, though, there is no corresponding political divide, with supporters of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties all willing to mask up, according to a new study.
the reasons people wear masks vary along partisan lines. When we asked why they wear masks, partisans are equally likely to say they wear them to protect themselves. However, Tories were also significantly less likely than supporters of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to say they wear them to protect others. …
Across the board, Leavers and Remainers reported a high level of willingness to wear masks, though we see the same differences in why they do so that we see when looking at partisan subgroups: Leavers were significantly less likely to say that they wear masks to protect others.
Britain was slow to take-up masks, which likely made Europe's biggest Covid death toll even worse. Public skepticism was attributed to the government's smarmy, inconsistent messaging about masks, its generally shambolic pandemic response, and fines and punishments for disobedience that fell largely upon working classes and minorities, thereby guaranteeing resistance.