A month away from the EU referendum, concern about the EU remains in third place on the Economist / Ipsos MORI issues Index
The May 2016 Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that the proportion of the British public who consider the EU an important issue facing Britain has plateaued, remaining at the same level as that recorded in April. Just under three in ten (28%) say the EU is a concern, compared to 30% last month – although this score remains much higher than the average over the past decade. The proportion who say it is the single biggest issue facing Britain has also remained static since April, at 16%. Fieldwork was conducted just after the various local and national elections, between the 6th and 15th May.
The EU remains the third-biggest issue facing Britain, after immigration and the NHS. Concern about the NHS has fallen; at 33% this month it is down six percentage points from the proportion recorded in April.
Immigration and the EU are near-equally ranked as important issues for Conservative party supporters – half of this group (50%) see immigration as a concern, and 46% see the EU as an important issue. For Labour party supporters the NHS is the biggest issue facing Britain on 37%, closely followed by immigration on 34%. Labour party supporters are also at least twice as likely as Conservative party supporters to say that housing and unemployment are big issues (20% versus 10%, and 21% versus 7% respectively).
Concern with the EU is strongly centred on some demographic groups – Conservative party supporters (46%), people from social grades AB (40%), and those aged 65 and over (41%) are significantly more likely to view this as an issue than the average (28%). Meanwhile, those from social grades DE (13%), urban area dwellers (17%) and people aged 18-24 (18%) are significantly less likely than average to see the EU as a big issue facing the UK.
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 979 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 6th and 15th May in 178 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.