With 8% of the year already gone, British politics and society remains fixated over Brexit. Labour and the Conservatives remain neck and neck, despite the fact that both the public and FTSE 500 bosses are very sceptical about the government's ability to get a good deal in the UK’s exit from the EU. Overall some 69% of Labour voters are satisfied with Jeremy Corbyn vs 76% of Conservative voters with Theresa May.
Economic confidence remains weak (52% expect the economy to deteriorate), with rising anxiety about inflation – despite more optimistic growth figures globally, and despite record employment. One thing that will cheer us up, briefly at least, is the Royal Wedding set for 19 May, which most Britons are positive about, but which 69% do not want Donald Trump to attend.
Britons are most likely of 23 countries to expect a terror attack in 2018 but we seem resigned rather than afraid: our annual survey of Londoners shows that despite the attacks in 2017, more Londoners than ever feel they live in cohesive communities. Overall despite cuts to policing in recent years, and the public feeling crime is rising, our latest work for the Inspectorate of Constabulary shows satisfaction with policing is unchanged over the last three years.
As we constantly find, perception and reality are not always the same, and as one of the judges of the Royal Statistical Society Statistic of the Year, I was fascinated by the fact that only 0.1% of Britain is densely developed – whereas our last Perils of Perception study shows the public think 47% is.
We look at the 5% of us with voice activated speakers and our worries that Alexa may be listening a little too much, as well as data mining. Elsewhere, we look at what people expect the year ahead to hold – most of us think 2018 will be a better year for us personally, 40% expect a war in North Korea, and 7% think aliens will visit earth!
One of those must be right. As ever, let me know what you think!