Discuss as:

Poll: London Olympics cheered up gloomy Brits

Thousands of people line the streets to applaud British athletes who brought home 185 medals at this year's Games. ITV's Geraint Vincent reports.

More than three-quarters of British people thought the London Olympics did "a valuable job in cheering up a country in hard times," according to a new survey.


The Guardian/ICM poll, published Wednesday, found that 78 percent of people agreed the 2012 Games were a good idea, but 20 percent thought the event was “a costly and dangerous distraction.”

The survey found similar levels of support across different age groups, social class and every region — apart from Scotland.


But even there 69 percent of people were in favor of the Games, with 31 percent against.

Brits revel in gloom ahead of London Olympics, but don't believe the gripe

The Guardian newspaper said that a poll last year had reported that 60 percent of people in the U.K. expected Britain to become a more miserable place overall in 2012.

But the new survey found that 49 percent of people thought the U.K. had become a better place to live during the year, with 41 percent believing it had got worse.

The Guardian said the figures suggested "a positive public take on the Olympics is coloring wider perceptions of the year."

London 2012: Who were the real winners, losers?

Cam Cardow / Ottawa Citizen, Politicalcartoon

Click here to view this cartoon slideshow.

However the poll also found that 61 percent thought British power in the world had been reduced, with 27 percent saying it had increased. And 51% expected the U.K. would still be struggling with economic problems in 2013.

The paper said ICM Research had interviewed a random sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 19-23 December 2012.

More world stories from NBC News:

Follow World News from NBCNews.com on Twitter and Facebook