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Balancing Fear: Why Counter-Terror Legislation was Blocked after the Oklahoma City and London Bombings
Unformatted Document Text:  Chart Two: Percent Fearful of Terrorism in UK, 2004-2006 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Feb-04 Jun-04 Oct-04 Feb-05 Jun-05 Oct-05 Feb-06 Jun-06 Date P ercen tag e 7/20/2005 The important poll figure in explaining this case is Tony Blair’s approval rating. As seen in the below chart, compiled from data acquired from the Ipsos-MORI Political Monitor approval rating polls, Tony Blair saw no rally ‘round the leader effect after the July 7, 2005 bombings. His approval ratings, already at 39%, moved upward slightly due to the bombings but then dipped back down to 39% a month later. Without sufficient public support, Blair did not have a strong enough mandate to pass further civil liberty reductions in support of his counterterror effort. Notice in the below chart that Tony Blair did see a surge in his support after the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. As the chart on Blair’s approval ratings clearly demonstrates not all terror attacks yield increased support of the executive. Further, as will be seen in this paper’s conclusion, executive approval ratings are critical to the passage of counterterror legislation. This finding exhibits that the independent variable in this work, executive response and threat- 18

Authors: Rubin, Gabriel.
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Chart Two:
Percent Fearful of Terrorism in UK, 2004-2006
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Feb-04
Jun-04
Oct-04
Feb-05
Jun-05
Oct-05
Feb-06
Jun-06
Date
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
a
g
e
7/20/2005
The important poll figure in explaining this case is Tony Blair’s approval rating.
As seen in the below chart, compiled from data acquired from the Ipsos-MORI Political
Monitor approval rating polls, Tony Blair saw no rally ‘round the leader effect after the
July 7, 2005 bombings. His approval ratings, already at 39%, moved upward slightly due
to the bombings but then dipped back down to 39% a month later. Without sufficient
public support, Blair did not have a strong enough mandate to pass further civil liberty
reductions in support of his counterterror effort. Notice in the below chart that Tony
Blair did see a surge in his support after the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. As
the chart on Blair’s approval ratings clearly demonstrates not all terror attacks yield
increased support of the executive. Further, as will be seen in this paper’s conclusion,
executive approval ratings are critical to the passage of counterterror legislation. This
finding exhibits that the independent variable in this work, executive response and threat-
18


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