Ipsos MORI May Issues Index: Sharp rises in concern about the NHS and education

The final Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index prior to the General Election shows six in ten (61%) Britons consider the NHS to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain, up 13 percentage points from last month.

Ipsos MORI May Issues Index: Sharp rises in concern about the NHS and education

  • Brexit remains the single most important issue
  • 61% consider the NHS to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain
  • Concern about education reaches highest level since September 2006

The final Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index prior to the General Election shows six in ten (61%) Britons consider the NHS to be one of the biggest issues facing Britain, up 13 percentage points from last month. This is the highest level of concern recorded since April 2002, and sixteen percentage points higher than the proportion who say the same about Brexit this month (45%). Education is now seen as the third most important issue, on 27% - on a par with immigration (25%) and ahead of the economy (20%).

Fieldwork was carried out between 5th and 15th May, so nearly all interviews were conducted before stories about NHS hacking appeared in the news. This also means fieldwork was conducted before the tragic events in Manchester on the 22nd May.

Despite strong rises in broader concern about the NHS and education in the past month, the proportion who consider either to be the single biggest issue facing Britain is still behind Brexit, the single most important issue on 32%

Concern about the NHS has reached high levels amongst nearly all demographic groups; it is considered an issue by 70% of those from social grades AB and 55% among C2DEs, 65% of rural-dwellers and 52% of urban-dwellers, and six-in-ten of both Labour and Conservative supporters (61% and 62% respectively). It is similar high amongst people of all age groups, with 57% of 18-34s concerned and 63% of those aged 65+.

Examining social grade by age, it is also the leading issue for every group. Worry about education is also in the top three concerns for those from social grades ABC1 in all age groups, whilst immigration is more of a concern for those in grades C2DE.

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 997 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 5 and 15 May 2017 at 175 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 

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