Importance Of Key Issues To Voting

Q Looking ahead to the next General Election, which, if any, of these issues do you think will be very important to you in helping you to decide which party to vote for?

Q Looking ahead to the next General Election, which, if any, of these issues do you think will be very important to you in helping you to decide which party to vote for?

  Animal Welfare Asylum Asylum and immigration Constitution / devolution Crime and anti-social behaviour Defence Education Europe Health care Housing Iraq Law & Order Managing the economy Northern Ireland Pensions Protecting the natural environment Public transport Taxation Trade Unions Unemployment Other Don't know
  % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
21-24 Jul 1995 - - - - - 10 52 17 61 24 - 43 30 8 25 21 12 30 4 53 2 6
22-25 Mar 1996 - - - - - 16 66 24 68 30 - 52 38 22 34 31 19 30 9 65 1 4
23-28 Jul 1996 - - - - - 9 51 19 60 17 - 45 26 13 29 20 12 26 5 48 2 4
21-24 Feb 1997 - - - - - 8 56 26 63 19 - 45 29 10 28 22 15 28 5 47 1 4
8 Apr 1997 10 - - 7 - 12 61 22 68 22 - 51 30 12 39 20 18 33 9 49 2 2
21-24 May 1998 12 - - 8 - 12 62 26 66 23 - 45 34 15 36 22 23 32 5 50 1 5
23-26 Jul 1999 11 - - 8 - 12 52 30 61 21 - 43 28 15 32 22 28 32 4 42 3 6
20-25 Jan 2000 9 - - 7 - 13 55 24 71 18 - 49 28 8 31 21 26 30 4 36 1 5
20-24 Jul 2000 8 - - 6 - 10 52 26 67 15 - 54 29 8 35 19 27 36 3 35 3 4
15-20 Feb 2001 10 - - 5 - 13 52 29 65 16 - 47 27 7 28 18 27 31 3 25 3 6
29 Mar - 3 Apr 2001 14 - 23** 6 - 10 50 18 59 19 - 41 24 6 31 21 25 28 4 26 3 6
10-14 May 2001 13 - 24** 5 - 9 53 18 61 18 - 44 29 5 35 20 23 35 3 25 2 3
5 Jun 2001 11 - 27** 8 - 11 62 26 73 21 - 50 31 7 40 26 31 37 6 30 3 3
11-16 Sep 2003 9 39 - 10 - 20 53 22 62 20 - 49 27 - 42 19 25 32 7 24 2 5
10-14 Sep 2004 8 37 - 5 - 24 47 21 54 19 - 45 24 - 40 18 19 33 3 22 3 5
17-21 Feb 2005 7 38 - 7 - 15 46 19 57 20 - 45 23 - 39 20 17 28 3 18 2 6
7-11 Apr 2005* 14 37 - 8 - 19 61 19 67 27 18 56 35 - 49 28 26 42 - 25 2 4
7-11 Apr 2005* 13 - 45 9 64 21 - 25 71 29 19 - 38 - 48 28 26 43 - 25 26 3
31 Aug - 6 Sep 2006 7 - 52 4 57 20 45 13 54 22 32 - 28 - 36 27 17 32 - 21 - 6
20-26 Sep 2007 7 - 46 6 56 16 39 11 47 22 26 - 24 - 27 20 14 23 - 20 1 6

* In April 2005, two slightly different lists of issues were shown to matched halves of the sample; results from each half are shown separately

**Worded "Asylum seekers/immigration" in 2001

 

A similar question, but without prompting respondents by showing them a list, was asked in telephone polls in 2001 and 2008-9:

Q. Looking ahead to the General Election, which, if any, issues do you think will be very important to helping you decide which party to vote for? (In this table, a dash (-) indicates that a topic was not listed as a separate code for interviewers and would have been classified as "Other" if mentioned by a respondent, a zero that the code was included but that no responses were coded against it and an asterisk indicates a figure less than 0.5% but greater than 0.)

  Afghanistan Animal welfare Asylum / immigration Benefits Care for older and disabled people Constitution / devolution Crime/ anti-social behaviour Defence Education Europe Foot & Mouth Disease Health care Housing Iraq Law & Order² Managing the economy Northern Ireland Pensions Protecting the natural environment Public transport Taxation Trade Unions Unemployment Other None/ Don't know
  % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
30 Apr - 1 May 2001†  - 2 -     - - 1 29 5  6 33 2 - 8 9 0 10 4 5 10 * 3 17 16
10-12 May 2001  - 1 6     - - 1 35 7  2 40 2 - 10 7 * 16 2 5 16 * 3 14 18
31 May - 2 Jun 2001  - 2 6     - - 1 39 14  2 50 2 - 10 7 * 15 3 7 11 * 3 11 11
15-17 Aug 2008 ‡  - 1 14     1 18 4 22 3  * 22 9 6 - 35  - 9 10 4 18 - 5 9 12
25-27 Sep 2009 ‡  6 * 13     1 6 6 17 3 - 20 2 2 - 39  - 5 6 1 10 - 13 - 12
19-22 Mar 2010 ‡ 5 - 14  7 7 - 8 3 23  - - 26 3 3 - 32 - 6 5 3 12 - 11 4 15
 6-9 Sep 2014 30  13  23  11  29  31  10 
 11-13 Jan 2015 - - 27  8 - - - - 20 9 - 46 5 - - 33 - 5 - - 8 - 9 - 10
 8-10 Feb 2015  - *  22 13  6  2 3 3 25 11 - 45  6  - - 32 - 5 6  -  14 *  10 5 9
 8-11 Mar 2015  -  1 25 12 5 2 5 6 25 8 - 38 8 -  - 31 - 7 5 - 10  1  11  4  10
12 -15 Apr 2015  - 1  19  11 5  1  4 5 24 7 -  47 8 - - 35 -  6 5 - 16 1 8 5 10

† Question asked as "If the general election were held this Thursday, what, if any, issues would be very important to you in helping you decide which party to vote for?"

‡Question asked as "Looking ahead to the next General Election..."

²In 2014, 'Law and order' was merged with 'Crime and anti-social behaviour'

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