The April Economist/Ipsos Issues Index shows that the NHS has once more returned to the top of the list of the most important issues facing Britain, with concern having increased by nine percentage points since March; 47% now mention this as among the most important issues facing Britain. We have recently released data on the most important issues influencing Britons’ voting behaviour, and the NHS has been consistently the most important determinant of voting in 2015, with Labour enjoying a clear lead in being seen as the best party on this issue.
Indeed, Labour voters were more likely to mention it as a key issue determining their vote, compared to Conservatives, (55% vs 44% respectively). However, Conservative voters are more likely to mention it as an important issue facing Britain (47% vs 43%).
In second place, having fallen by the same margin of nine percentage points, is immigration, mentioned by 36%. This issue was the most important facing Britain last month, and for much of last year, but is only the fourth most important issue determining voting, with perception of the best party on this issue split between Labour (21%) and UKIP (20%).
Though the NHS is a key election issue for Labour, the Conservative equivalent, the economy, is the third most important issue facing Britain, also mentioned by 36% though concern has increased by eight percentage points. Economic management is the second most important driver of voting intention, with a clear lead for the Conservatives as having the best policies on this issue over Labour (41% vs. 23%).
A fifth (22%) mention education/schools, the highest level of concern in four years. This is the third most important issue determining voting behaviour, with an 8 percentage point leader for Labour over the Conservatives as the best party on this issue.
Therefore, the four most important issues to voting are also the four most important issues facing Britain, albeit in a different order.
Elsewhere, just 18% mention unemployment as an issue facing Britain, the lowest figure to do so since December 2008, and crime is mentioned by just one in ten (10%), the lowest percentage since October 1992.
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 982 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 10th and 20th April in 167 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.