Ipsos Issues Index June 2018: The public’s two main concerns remain Brexit and the NHS

Just under half of the British public name either Brexit or the NHS as a big issue for Britain, while one in five mention crime or immigration.

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  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight
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  • This month there has been a rise in concern about Brexit (up by 4 to 46%) and a slight fall for the NHS (down 5 to 44%), but both issues remain tied at the top
  • One in five mention either crime or immigration as a major issue
  • Ahead of the NHS’ 70th birthday, concern about the health service is highest among Labour supporters and those from social grades A and B

The June 2018 Issues Index shows similar levels of public concern about the two main issues facing the country – Brexit and the NHS. Just under half of the public name at least one of these issues (46% and 44% respectively). 

The difference between these issues is greater when the public are asked what they see as the single biggest issue, with three in ten of the public naming Brexit (30%), more than double the proportion who say it is the NHS (12%). Brexit has been named as the single biggest issue facing the country every month since the referendum in June 2016.

Concern about crime has fallen slightly since last month, although one in five still see it as a worry (20%). This month it is the joint third-largest issue, alongside immigration (20%), education, housing and poverty/inequality (all 19%).
Issues Index June 2018 - Top tenSupporters of Britain’s two main political parties show differing views on the biggest issues facing the country: 

Labour supporters are slightly more likely to see the NHS as a bigger worry than Brexit, with 54% mentioning the former and 47% mentioning the latter – although they remain more likely to see Brexit as the single biggest issue (by 29% to 15%). Their third biggest concern this month is poverty and inequality; three in ten mention this as an issue (31%), compared with 19% overall and just seven per cent of Conservative supporters.

For Conservatives, Brexit is the major focus. Two-thirds mention this as a big issue for Britain (64%), and almost half identify it as the single biggest issue (45%). However the NHS is also a big concern for this group, with nearly half seeing it as a worry (45%). Conservative supporters’ third biggest concern this month is immigration; a third cite it as an issue, double the proportion of Labour voters who say the same (33% versus 15%).
Issues Index - top ten issues by party support

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 974 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The answers are spontaneous responses, and participants 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 12 June 2018 at 167 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight