The foreign secretary William Hague has said that Britain will not "pick and choose" which side to support in the conflict in Egypt - between the elected Islamist government and the unelected non-Islamist regime which overthrew them. New research by YouGov reveals that most British adults are split evenly between them or cannot choose.
24% of the UK public would prefer to see an elected, Islamist government in Egypt while 23% would prefer an unelected, non-Islamist government. 53% don’t know.
In the US, by comparison, the public have a clearer opinion: nearly twice as many (36%) would prefer an unelected non-Islamist government as would prefer an elected Islamist government (19%) in Egypt.
The question is also less partisan in the UK: Labour and Conservative supporters are fairly evenly split between the two options, however Liberal Democrats favour the elected over the unelected option 29%-15% and UKIP supporters tend the opposite way by 40%-16%.
In the US, on the other hand, 56% of Republicans prefer an unelected non-Islamist regime to an elected Islamist government 56%-10% while Democrats tend the other way by 29%-24%.
Today it was reported that Mohammed Badie, the spiritual leader of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government, had been arrested in Cairo as authorities continue a crackdown on supporters of his party. The Brotherhood was ousted by the military on 3 July after protesters objected to its leader Mohammed Morsi’s handling of economic problems. Last Wednesday Morsi’s supporters began fresh protests against military rule. 900 have been killed.