NHS and Brexit remain the biggest issues facing the country

Brexit and the NHS continue to head the public’s list of the biggest issues facing Britain.

NHS and Brexit remain the biggest issues facing the country

The author(s)

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

Concern about the NHS falls this month, but still higher than any point since July 2002

Immigration, education and the economy make up the rest of the top five

The July Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index finds that Brexit and the NHS continue to head the public’s list of the biggest issues facing Britain, despite recent drops in the proportion naming either. Currently, half (50%) see the NHS as a concern – down eleven percentage points since May, but still the highest level for fifteen years. Similarly, 41% consider Brexit to be a big issue; ten percentage points lower than in March this year but still an historically high score.

Behind the NHS and Brexit, the British public have a similar level of concern about three other issues. Around one quarter name immigration (28%), the economy and education (both 25%) as a worry, close to the scores recorded in June for all three.

Ipsos MORI Issues Index July 2017

This month the biggest issue facing Britain also differs by gender. For women the NHS is the biggest issue facing Britain, cited by 58% (compared with 41% of men), whilst the biggest concern for men in Brexit (46%, against 36% of women). Gender splits also exist in the proportion who see education as one of the biggest issues facing Britain (30% of women, 19% of men), as well as the economy (women: 21%, men: 29%).

Ipsos MORI Issues Index July 2017: Concern by gender

Concern about the NHS is high among all age and social grade groups, with at least four in ten mentioning it as one of the biggest issues facing Britain. This contrasts with the distribution of concern about Brexit, which is more often seen as a big issue by those in social grades ABC1; just over half (54%) of this group name it as a concern, compared with one quarter (25%) of those in social grades C2DE.

Ipsos MORI Issues Index July 2017: Concern by social grade

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 965 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 9 and 20 June 2017 at 223 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 

This month the weighting scheme was amended to include educational attainment and public sector work status.

The author(s)

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

More insights about Public Sector