Britons' predictions for 2018

The latest Ipsos Global @dvisor poll was carried out in 28 countries around the world at the end of 2017. It asked over 21,500 online adults aged under 64 their predictions for 2018.

Britons' predictions for 2018

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
Get in touch

In 28 nation study, Britons are most likely to think that a major terrorist attack in their country is likely

Four in ten Britons think a USA-North Korea war is likely

But two in three say they are optimistic that 2018 will be a better year for them personally.

The latest Ipsos Global @dvisor poll was carried out in 28 countries around the world at the end of 2017.  It asked over 21,500 online adults aged under 64 their predictions for 2018.

What the Brits predict 2018 has in store

The Ipsos MORI study finds that the British are the most concerned about a major terrorist incident on home soil -  65% think it likely one will be carried out this year. Turkey (60%), France (53%), Germany (51%) and the US (51%) are also concerned, with half or more in these countries expecting an attack on home soil.

Western Europe, Turkey and US most concerned about a terrorist attack on home soil

Four in ten of us (39%) think a war between North Korea and the US is likely – a similar proportion (42%) think it probably won’t happen.  
Four in ten of us (43%) also think that President Trump will be impeached in 2018, at the top of the table along with Canada (51%) and Turkey (55%).  But we are one of the least likely to think this year will see aliens visiting earth – just 7% of us.
Nevertheless, two in three (66%) Britons are optimistic that 2018 will be better than 2017 – although most other countries are more optimistic.

The majority in most countries are optimistic about 2018 – but less so in Italy, France and Japan

Other predictions include:

  • A quarter of us think that that the stock markets will crash
  • 57% of us think that China will become the biggest global economy
  • 46% of Britons think the global economy will be stronger in 2018 than 2017.  This is the fourth lowest score out of the 28 countries – but higher than the 35% last year.
  • Two thirds of us think average global temperatures will increase
  • Its 50/50 for Angela Merkel, with half of us predicting she will remain as Germany’s Chancellor

Finally … 63% of us plan to make personal resolutions to do something specific for themselves or others in 2018. How many have broken their resolutions already … unknown.

Majority in most countries say they will be making a resolution in 2018 – but not in Japan or Sweden

The global picture

Despite a tense relationship between the US and North Korea, people are divided over the likelihood of the two countries starting a war against each other. Four in ten (42%) think that it’s likely, compared with 40% who think it’s unlikely.  People in South Korea, though, are more likely to think it won’t happen – 66% say it’s unlikely.

Over half think (59%) that China will become the world’s biggest economy – with Japan (25%) and South Korea (37%) as most sceptical, followed by India (43%), Germany and the US (both 40%).  

The countries with the highest levels of personal optimism for 2018 are Columbia (93% say 2018 will be better for them than 2017), Peru (93%), Chile (88%), China (88%), Mexico (87%) and India (87%).  Optimism is lowest in Italy (60%), France (54%) and Japan (just 44%).

Other predictions:

  • Most countries think that the average global temperature will increase (71%). This prediction is particularly high in Serbia (87%), and ranked lowest in Russia and the US (both 56%).
  • Countries are divided on strength of the global economy – with emerging markets tending to be more positive.  China (86%), India (83%) and Peru (81%) are most likely to think the global economy will be stronger in 2018 than 2017; Italy (43%), Japan (39%) and France (36%) are least confident.
  • Only 28% across the globe think that stock markets around the world will crash this year. This is highest in Malaysia (51%), Saudi Arabia and India (39%).
  • Angela Merkel remaining Germany’s Chancellor seen as more likely than President Trump being impeached. Half (48%) on average think Angela Merkel will remain Germany’s Chancellor (including 57% of Germans), compared to the 35% who think Trump will be impeached this year.  It is a similar picture in the US itself – 33% of Americans think it likely the President will be impeached, but 49% believe it’s unlikely.
  • Globally, half (50%) think that Russia’s influence on world affairs will increase – with Serbia (80%) and Turkey (74%) most convinced (and 66% in Russia).
  • There are noticeable variations in concern about a terrorist attack.  Half or more of people in Britain (65%), Turkey (60%), France (53%), Germany (51%) and the US (51%) think an attack in their country is likely, but in most of the countries surveyed only one in four or less think an attack is likely.
  • Close to 1 in 10 (12%) on average across the countries think it is likely that aliens will visit this year.
  • Half (49%) on average think it likely that a driverless car will make a government-approved debut in a developed country.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

The British public is looking forward to 2018 with a mixture of hopes and fears.  Most of us think that 2018 will be a better year than 2017, but otherwise we have worries both at home and abroad.  Britons are the most likely to expect a major terrorist attack in 2018, while two in five think a war between the US and North Korea is likely.  Britons also expect global temperatures to keep on increasing, and, like several other European countries, are relatively less optimistic about the global economy then people in emerging economies (although not quite as pessimistic as last year).

Technical note

  • These are the findings of the Global @dvisor predictions survey for 2018.  In total 21,548 interviews were conducted between ., Nov 27 – Dec 8 2017 among adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and adults aged 16-64 in all other countries.
  • The survey was conducted in 28 countries around the world via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States
  • Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos Online Panel with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Chile, Malaysia and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+.  In all other countries the sample was 500+. The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on Ipsos’ use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.
  • 17 of the 28 countries surveyed online generate nationally representative samples in their countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and United States).
  • Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Chile, Colombia and Malaysia produce a national sample that is more urban & educated, and with higher incomes than their fellow citizens.  We refer to these respondents as “Upper Deck Consumer Citizens”.  They are not nationally representative of their country.
  • Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.
  • Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

More insights about Culture