Concern about crime falls to lowest level in over 20 years as rising concern about immigration/race returns it to second place
The Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that, despite the continuing presence of the economy as the most important issue facing Britain today, concern about race relations/immigration continues to rise.
Half (49%) mention the economy, unchanged since last month, though a third of the public (34%) now mention race/immigration as among the most important issues facing the country, the highest percentage to do so in three years (it reached 38% in the month that David Cameron took office). There is variation by age and geography, with only 22% of Londoners and 25% of those aged 18-44 who mention it compared with 43% of those aged 45+ and 44% of those who live in the South East outside of London.
A similar percentage (32%) mention unemployment, with a quarter (24%) who mention the NHS. One in eight (13%) mention education/schools, and the same percentage mention pensions/benefits, the highest level of concern in seven years. Concern is broadly similar across age groups, but women are more likely to mention this issue than men (15% and 10% respectively).
However perhaps most notable this month is the continuing fall in concern about crime – just 11% mention this issue, a fall of 4 percentage points since last month, and the lowest level of concern in over 20 years. Regularly throughout 2005-2008 crime and race/immigration alternated as the most important issues facing the country, but concern about crime has fallen steadily since then.
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 1,003 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 3rd-19th May 2013 in 150 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.