Economist/Ipsos Issues Index June 2011

Economy remains the number one issue, with concern about unemployment, inflation and prices creeping up

§      Economy remains the number one issue, with concern about unemployment, inflation and prices creeping up

§      Concern about the NHS remains at three-year high

§      Increase in concern about race relations/ immigration and crime this month

The June Economist/Ipsos Issues Index shows that around half of the British public (51%) think the economy is one of the most important issues facing Britain today. This is the lowest level of concern about this issue since February 2010. Just under three in ten (28%) are concerned about unemployment, a proportion that has changed little since 2009. Concern about inflation and prices has increased three points this month to 14%.

Although the economy still clearly dominates the agenda (as it has done for the best part of three years), other domestic issues appear to be slowly starting to increase in importance including the NHS, race relations/ immigration and crime.

As last month, a quarter of the public (26%) are concerned about the NHS. Interviews were conducted prior to the NHS Future Forum report and the government’s latest announcements; the impact of recent developments – whether to further increase worries or reassure people – will be interesting to observe next month.

Three in ten (31%) mention race relations/immigration as an issue facing the country, an increase of five percentage points since last month. Concern about crime has also risen five points to 22%, most likely in reflection of the debate about sentencing earlier this month.

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 972 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 3rd –9th June 2011 at 162 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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