Ipsos MORI's May Issues Index shows that, according to the public, the economy remains the most important issue facing the country. Three in five (59%) say it is an important issue, and one in five (20%) also cite worries about unemployment. However, the percentage of those saying the economy is among the most important issues facing Britain has decreased again in the past month, by six points since April, and is now eleven points lower than its peak of 70% in January this year. Similarly, concern about unemployment is four points lower than its peak of 24% in January. This reflects that many of the public may increasingly see the current recession as `bottoming out' (see our most recent Economic Optimism Index for more on this).
Race Relations/Immigration and crime are also key issues for the electorate. Three in ten (30%) cite each of these.
At a time when concerns about MPs' expenses dominate many headlines, 14% say MPs expenses, or other matters to do with morality and behaviour, as among the key issues facing Britain. This represents a six-point increase since April, and is the highest ever score for this.
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 996 adults aged 18+ at 206 sampling points across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted face-to-face on 21st-27th May 2009. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
World divided on socialism, 200 years after birth of Karl Marx
Half of the people around the world think that at present, socialist ideals are of great value for societal progress. Despite this, half of the people also agree that socialism is a system of political oppression, mass surveillance and state terror. Globally, eight in ten people think that the rich should be taxed more to support the poor. Around the world nine in ten people believe that education should be free of charge and that free healthcare is a human right.