Brexit is seen as the biggest issue facing Britain

The September Ipsos/Economist Issues Index shows wide concern about Brexit, and a fall in worry about the NHS.

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight
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Forty-six percent see Brexit as one of the biggest issues facing Britain, and almost one third (31%) see it as the single biggest issue

Concern about the NHS falls eight percentage points, but is still seen as a big issue by four in ten

Worry about the economy stands at 18%, the lowest score for almost a decade

The September Ipsos/Economist Issues Index shows wide concern about Brexit, with a little under one half (46%) considering it one of the biggest issues facing Britain – and 31% seeing it as the single biggest issue facing the country. The NHS remains a significant issue facing Britain, despite an eight percentage point fall in worry since last month (from 48% to 40%).

Immigration (26%), education (20%) and the economy (18%) remain in the same positions as last month. Defence and housing are joint-sixth, with 16% seeing each as a big issue (fieldwork was completed prior to the attempted train bombing at Parsons Green in London).

A decade on from the collapse of Northern Rock, 18% of the public list the economy as a concern. This is the lowest level of worry since February 2008, in the earliest days of the economic crisis.


Issues facing Britain - September 2017Supporters of the two leading political parties lend different emphasis to the importance of issues facing Britain:

  • For Conservative party supporters, Brexit is the clear priority, with 55% seeing it as a big issue. The NHS and immigration are seen as the next-most important issues (on 37% and 40% respectively), followed by the economy (18%) and the ageing population and social care (17%).
  • Among Labour supporters, the NHS and Brexit are viewed as more equally important, on 45% and 41%. Education is their third-biggest issue (25%), followed by poverty/inequality (21%) and immigration (17%).

Concern by party support - September 2017

Technical note

Ipsos's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 999 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers.

Ipsos's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 1 and 13 September 2017 at 193 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight

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