Issues Index December 2017: More Britons see Brexit and the NHS as important issues this month

Half of Britons (51%) say Europe/Brexit is an important issue facing the country – reaching a joint-record level with March. Concern about the NHS has also increased though still lower than Brexit.

Issues Index December 2017: More Britons see Brexit and the NHS as important issues this month

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Michael Clemence Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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The December 2017 Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows more people mentioning both Europe/Brexit (up 5 points) and the NHS (up 6 points) as important issues facing the country – however Brexit still remains the top concern for the country. This is a joint record high (51%) for those naming Europe/Brexit as a concern, tied with March earlier this year. There has also been an increase in concern about poverty and inequality this month, (up 4 points), roughly equal to its highest ever score of 20% in December 2016. Concern about immigration is at 21%, its lowest for five years.

When considering the single biggest issue facing the country, Europe/Brexit is first with 37% (up 6 points from November). The proportion naming the NHS lags behind Brexit, with 11% saying it is the single biggest issue (up 2 points).

There are also differences by recalled party support and gender on the top two issues of Europe/Brexit and the NHS:

  • While Brexit and the NHS are the top two important issues for both Conservative and Labour voters, Conservative voters are more likely to emphasise Brexit than Labour supporters (68% vs. 48%).
  • Labour supporters show as much concern over the NHS as they do Brexit (46%) although Conservative supporters are more likely than average to name the NHS (53%) as a concern.
  • Brexit is the top concern among men (mentioned by 55%), with the NHS significantly  behind (41%). Concern over Brexit and the NHS are on even footing among women, however, mentioned by 48% and 49% respectively.

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 959 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 1 and 17 December 2017 at 215 sampling points across Great Britain. Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Michael Clemence Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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