The Economist/ Ipsos MORI April 2016 Issues index – concern about the EU rises to the highest level recorded this century
The April 2016 Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index reveals a further increase in the importance of the EU as an issue facing Britain. Three in ten (30%) of the public now mention it as one of the most important issues facing Britain, the highest recorded level since December 1999. Conservative voters (43%), those living in the south east of England (37%) and those aged 55 and over (43%) are particularly likely to feel this is a big issue.
The European Union is now the third-most mentioned issue facing Britain, behind immigration (41%) and the NHS (39%).
Conservative and Labour voters disagree this month on what is the most important issue facing Britain. For Conservatives it is immigration (57% selected this answer), whilst Labour supporters are more likely to say that the NHS is the biggest issue (42%, compared to 34% for immigration). Whilst supporters of both parties are equally likely to say that the NHS is one of the biggest issues facing Britain, Conservatives are more likely than Labour voters to say that the EU (43% versus 27%) and defence (32% compared to 13%) are important issues. The picture is reversed for education, unemployment, poverty and housing, where Labour voters are much more concerned.
One month out from the Mayoral election in London, the economy (34%) and housing (33%) are seen as the two most important issues in London. Immigration is third-most mentioned, with one third Londoners saying that it is an important issue (30%). There is less concern about the EU in London compared to Britain overall, with one fifth (20%) saying Europe is an important issue.
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 966 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 8th and 19th April in 176 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.