Immigration and NHS tied as the most important issues facing Britain

The October 2016 Ipsos MORI Issues Index reveals a tie between immigration and the NHS as the biggest issue facing Britain.

 Immigration and the NHS are tied as the most important issues facing the country, but Brexit and immigration are seen as the single biggest issues 

This month the Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index reveals a tie between immigration and the NHS; both are seen as one of the biggest issues facing the country by 36%. However, there is a sharp difference between the two issues on the proportion of the public who see each as the single biggest concern – here 20% mention immigration, compared to just eight per cent who say it is the NHS.

Concern about both issues has fallen slightly since September, by four percentage points for the NHS and by three percentage points for immigration. The EU and Brexit is the third biggest issue overall, mentioned by 32%, but alongside immigration tops the list of the single biggest issue facing the country, at 21%.  Rural dwellers (31%) and Conservative voters (30%) were especially likely to say that the EU and Brexit is the single biggest issue facing Britain.


This month concerns over the EU and Brexit are most likely to be mentioned by Conservative supporters (44%), although immigration (43%) and the NHS (41%) are not far behind. For Labour party supporters, the NHS is the biggest issue facing the country (35%), followed by immigration (32%) and the economy (31%). Amongst this group concern about education has remained high too, at 26% for a second consecutive month.

Technical note

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 992 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 30th September and 19th October in 184 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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