Ipsos Predictions for the UK in 2024

As 2023 comes to an end, Ipsos asked the British public to look forward to what 2024 could bring. From a general election, to a general strike, heatwaves to aliens, what has next year got in store for us?

The author(s)
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Jordana Moser Associate Research Director
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Ben Roff Public Affairs
  • Laura King Public Affairs
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Politics and current affairs

After nearly 14 years under the Conservative Party, half of Britons (54%) expect the Labour Party to win next year’s general election with a clear majority, with most (62%) also expecting Keir Starmer to be the leader of the Labour Party by the time a GE is called. By contrast, 22% expect to see the Conservative Party to win again. 43% expect Rishi Sunak to remain Party leader up to the election, with slightly fewer (35%) saying it’s unlikely he’ll still be in post.

The economy

Confidence in the British real estate market is not as low as last year; only 25% expect house prices to fall in their area, compared to 46% who said the same last year. However, confidence in the British economy more generally remains weak, with only 1 in 3 (35%) expecting their personal financial situation to improve (+3 compared to December 2022), and half (53%) believing it’s likely the UK will enter a recession in 2024.

Domestic affairs

More than half of the public (56%) think 2024 will see the ban of disposable, single use vapes in the UK. An equal share (54%) expect next summer to be the hottest on record, with 1 in 4 (26%) viewing this as unlikely. Under half (47%) expect some countries to remove King Charles III as their Head of State, down from 53% in December 2022. Expectations around another Scottish Independence referendum have held steady, with 1 in 3 (32%) thinking this is likely – in line with what was seen last year.

Workplaces

Half of the public expect the return to the office to continue to gather steam: 1 in 2 (50%) think it’s likely that most companies will increase the number of days workers have to spend in the office, compared to 3 in 10 (29%) who don’t think this is likely. Following two years of strikes, over 4 in 10 expect there’s more to come, with 45% saying a general strike (a coordinated strike by workers in all or most industries) is likely. Slightly fewer (37%) say this is unlikely.

A minority of workers anticipate new technology to cause a meaningful change to their working lives: only 1 in 3 (34%) expect AI to cause significant job losses within their sector (compared to 51% who say it’s unlikely), with a similar share (29%) expecting their workplaces to carry out at least some of its activities in virtual reality. More than half (56%) say this change is unlikely.

Sport and culture

After the Lionesses just barely missed the top spot at this summer’s World Cup, the British public are not optimistic that Britain will be bringing home much competition hardware in 2024. Fewer than 3 in 10 (27%) think it’s likely that Great Britain will rank in the top 3 in the number of medals won at next summer’s Paris Olympics, with twice as many (53%) saying this is unlikely. A similar proportion (55%) think it’s unlikely that the England men’s national football team will win the 2024 UEFA championship, though 1 in 4 (23%) are holding out some hope and believe it’s likely. The public is the least optimistic about Britain’s chances at next year’s Eurovision, with only 16% saying it’s likely that Britain will come in the top 3 – and 64% saying the feat is unlikely.

World affairs

Against a backdrop of continuing wars around the world, more than twice as many Britons think it’s unlikely that there will be a detonation of a nuclear weapon during war in 2024 (49%) as think it’s likely (although that still stands as 1 in 4, 23%). Britons are also pessimistic about the likelihood of 2024 bringing evidence of alien life, with only 1 in 5 (20%) expecting this to happen, and 3 in 5 (62%) saying it’s unlikely.

Download the data (XLS)

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said of the findings:

As we enter into what is expected to be a General Election year, the potential for change is in the air: most of the British public expect to Labour, led by Keir Starmer, to be in Number 10 when the votes are counted. The public is less certain about the fate of Rishi Sunak; just over a third expect there to be a different Conservative Party leader by the time the election comes around, even though slightly more, 4 in 10, think he’ll stay at the helm.
However, politics aside, the British public’s forecast for 2024 is reminiscent of their predictions for 2023: they again foresee more heatwaves, more economic challenges (although expect that the housing market will stabilise), and the potential for a general strike. There isn’t much optimism for the country’s hopes in sport or Eurovision either, although at least some do foresee changes to the way we work, with the move back to the office continuing and around 3 in 10 workers expecting new technologies such as AI and VR beginning to have an impact.

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,062 GB adults aged 16-75. Interviews were conducted online from 8-11 December 2023. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Jordana Moser Associate Research Director
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Ben Roff Public Affairs
  • Laura King Public Affairs

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