The Economist/ Ipsos MORI February 2016 Issues index – the highest concern about the EU in 13 years
The February 2016 Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that, following the recent EU renegotiation and announcement of the referendum date, a fifth (20%) of the British public mention the EU as amongst the most important issues facing Britain.
Of those, half (10% of the overall population) see the EU as the single most important issue facing Britain. This marks the highest level of concern since 2003 Treaty of Accession, allowing 10 new countries to join the EU. Those most likely to mention the EU as an important issue facing Britain include ABs, Conservative voters and those living in rural areas (33%, 29% and 30% are concerned respectively) compared to DEs and Labour supporters (8% and 14% respectively).
However, as is now the norm, immigration remains the most important issue facing Britain, mentioned by 44% of the public. In second place is the NHS, mentioned by 38% of the public. This falls to a quarter (26%) of those aged 18-34, but rises to half (52%) of those aged 35-44, amongst whom it is the most important issue facing Britain. A quarter (23%) mention the economy, the lowest percentage to do so since March 2008.
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 1,009 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 5th-23rd February in 166 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.