Ipsos Issues Index: December 2023: Public concern about immigration reaches a six-year high

1 in 3 people name immigration as an important issue for Britain according to the December 2023 Ipsos Issues Index.

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  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight
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  • Twenty-nine per cent name immigration as an important issue for Britain, a seven percentage point increase since November and the highest score since April 2017
  • Concern about inflation rises strongly too, up by nine points to 34%, making it the most mentioned issue facing Britain
  • Almost three in ten see the NHS and healthcare as a big issue for Britain, an increase of four points over the previous month

The December 2023 Ipsos Issues Index shows inflation returning as the biggest issue seen to be facing the country, alongside a significant increase in further increase in the proportion of the British public who see immigration as a big concern.

Twenty-nine per cent say immigration is a big issue, up from 22% last month. Concern is higher still among Conservative Party supporters, 52% of whom see immigration as an issue – far ahead of inflation, which is the second-biggest concern for this group on 29%. By contrast, just two in ten Labour supporters (21%) and only one in ten of 18-24 year olds (10%) express concern about immigration.

There has been a nine-point jump in concern about inflation and prices; on 34% it returns as the biggest issue facing the country for the first time since August 2023. Concern is higher among younger age groups (45% of 25-34 year olds and 40% of 18-24s) than it is among older people (24% for over 65s). However, the overall level of concern is lower than it was earlier in 2023 and 2022 – one year ago in December 2022, 42% saw inflation as a big issue for Britain.



Mike Clemence, a researcher at Ipsos, said:

At the end of 2023, there were four key issues at the top of the British public mind. In addition to financial matters such as inflation and the economy, there has been a strong increase in concern about immigration and the NHS. Concern about immigration has risen by seven points since November to the highest level since early 2017. This has been driven by particularly high concern among Conservative party supporters and older people.

Technical note

Ipsos' Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,005 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The answers are spontaneous responses, and participants are not prompted with any answers. 

Ipsos’ telephone omnibus was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted between 8 and 12 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)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight

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