- Fifty-nine per cent of Britons think Brexit is a big issue, a new highest score but only two percentage points higher than last month (57%)
- Half now see Brexit as the single biggest issue for the country (49%) – the highest score for any single issue since the economy in 2011
- The NHS remains second but concern is now 39%, the lowest score since November 2017
As Britain’s political parties hold their annual conferences, this month’s Issues Index shows heightened public concern about Brexit for the third consecutive month. Fifty-nine per cent mention it as a major issue for Britain, a similar level to the past two months (August: 57%, July: 58%) but also a new highest score for this concern since the survey series began in September 1974.
Half of the public are agreed that Brexit is the single biggest issue for the country (49%), an increase of five percentage points since last month. This is the highest level of agreement on any issue as the single biggest concern since October 2011, when the same proportion saw the economy as the single biggest issue.
However, the public are also concerned about many other issues: the NHS remains the British public’s second-biggest concern on 39%. Twenty-one per cent see immigration as a big issue which makes it the third-biggest worry for the country. Ten years after it first became the country’s biggest concern, just seventeen per cent name the economy as a big issue for Britain.
A similar pattern of concern can be seen across most socio-economic groups: Brexit is the biggest issue, with the NHS in second. However, differences can be seen in the third-biggest issue. Among those in social grades ABC1 it is either the economy or education. For older C2DEs the third-biggest concern is immigration, while for those in these social grades aged 18-34 it is crime.
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 1,018 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The answers are spontaneous responses, and participants 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 7 and 23 September 2018 at 189 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
See more of Ipsos MORI's long-term political and social trends here.
The public's Brexit predictions
A major new Ipsos MORI survey conducted in partnership with the Policy Institute at King’s College London and UK in a Changing Europe reveals what the public think will happen in the Brexit negotiations, and the impact of leaving the EU on key issues over the following five years.