- Europe/Brexit remains the single most important issue
- The number of those concerned about defence/foreign affairs/terrorism doubles to 16%
The April 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index shows concern over Brexit remaining high with half (48%) mentioning it as one of the most important issues facing Britain. Concern around the NHS rose slightly by 3 points (also at 48%) making it the joint top concerning issue facing the country. Fieldwork was carried out before the announcement of the General Election after Easter.
Moreover, three in ten (31%) members of the public name Brexit as the single biggest issue facing Britain – (a five percentage point decline from last month’s score), eighteen percentage points higher than the next single biggest issue – the NHS, on 13%.
The top three issues are the same for Conservative and Labour supporters (Brexit, the NHS, and immigration) but Conservative supporters place more emphasis on Brexit and immigration while Labour supporters put more on other issues such as housing, unemployment and poverty and inequality. Concern about the EU and Brexit remains the biggest issue for those from social grades AB and C1 – 66% of ABs and 49% of C1s consider it to be one of the biggest issue facing Britain. There is also an urban/rural split with a majority (54%) of those in rural areas of the country mentioning Brexit as a concerning issue compared with 42% in urban areas.
The issue with the most movement from March is defence, foreign policy and terrorism – jumping four spots to the sixth most concerning issue. Sixteen percent of the public mentioned this as a concerning issue facing the country – doubling from 8% in March. Understandably the attack at Westminster in March likely contributed to this increase.
Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,008 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers. Ipsos MORI's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 31 March and 10 April 2017 at 238 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
The facts may have changed on Brexit - but people’s minds have not
Reflecting the national vote in the 2016 referendum, voters in Bedford split almost the same way, with 51.8% voting to leave the EU. Two years on, we joined the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to ask local Bedford residents what they have to say on the matter now.