A cruel summer

July: Japan reels from the assassination of Shinzo Abe; Europe bakes under summer heatwave

Ipsos | Almanac 2022 | July | Politics

July was a month of extreme events - from politics to business to climate.

Ipsos | Almanac | Politics


On 7th July, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation, bowing to extreme pressure from his ministers (40 of whom having resigned in the previous 48 hours) and the public (by this point, dissatisfaction with his performance had reached 69%). As our UK team note, the public proved to be even more critical of his successor, Liz Truss, with only 13% believing she could win the next election, and by 25th October it was time for Britain’s third Prime Minister of the year, Rishi Sunak, to take hold of the keys to Downing Street.

Ipsos | Almanac | Politics


The next day, 8th July, saw Japan witness the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while speaking at an election event in Naro City. The period which followed seemed to divide rather than unite the nation. Our team in Japan describe the controversy over the State Funeral and the ongoing debate on the interplay between the political establishment and religious cults.

This was also a month of extreme weather events in Europe, with Spain, France, Italy and Greece all experiencing extreme heatwaves. On 19th July, temperatures breached the 40 degrees mark in many parts of the UK for the first time ever.  

But it was not the only time we saw disturbing reminders of the realities of climate change – take a look at our month-by-month review of this year’s weather events, alongside details of how the dynamics of public opinion are evolving.

And the temperature was also heating up in the battle for ownership of Twitter. On 12th July, Twitter took Elon Musk to court over his (at the time) abandoned takeover bid. The social media giant accused him of “a long list of material contract breaches” which had caused the company “irreparable harm”. Three months later, on 28th October, Musk agreed on a $44 billion deal. As our annual survey of Reputation professionals shows, despite the controversies, corporate communicators still see many advantages when it comes to social media: a strong majority (58%) disagree with the statement that social media platforms are now too compromised to be credible for corporate communications.

The controversial takeover of Twitter potentially highlights a wider issue of trust among the public in the internet, with an 11-point fall in trust from 74% to 63% in just three years. Our 20-country study found concerns about privacy and governance to be front and centre, with the global public showing support for their governments taking action on a whole range of topics.