Public concern about Europe/Brexit becomes the top issue facing Britain

The March 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index shows a new record in the proportion who see the EU/Brexit as one of the biggest issues facing Britain.

Public concern about Europe/Brexit becomes the top issue facing Britain

The author(s)

  • Michael Clemence Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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  • Level of concern with Europe/Brexit rises again to a new record high since the Index started in September 1974
  • Worry about the NHS falls seven percentage points but remains elevated

The March 2017 Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index shows a new record in the proportion who see the EU/Brexit as one of the biggest issues facing Britain. Half (51%) now cite it as an issue, six percentage points higher than February and the highest score since records began in September 1974. Fieldwork was conducted 10-19 March, prior to the attack outside Parliament on the 22nd of this month.

Ipsos MORI Issues Index March 2017

Concern about the EU/Brexit is now six percentage points greater than worries about the NHS (45% this month), making it the biggest issue facing Britain. This is only the second time that the EU/Brexit has been the biggest issue facing Britain; the first time this happened was in November 2016.

Further, one third (36%) of the public name Brexit as the single biggest issue facing Britain – a seven percentage point rise from last month’s score, and twenty-three percentage points higher than the next single biggest issue – the NHS, on 13%.

Concern about the EU and Brexit is the clear biggest issue for those from social grades AB and C1 – 68% of the former group and 54% of the latter consider it to be one of the biggest issue facing Britain. Additionally, amongst age groups within these grades it is more than ten percentage points ahead of the next biggest issue (the NHS).

For those from social grades C2 and DE, the NHS is of equal or greater concern; 45% of C2s see the NHS as a big issue, compared to 42% who say the same for the EU/Brexit, and for DEs the figures are 38% and 35%.

Brexit the key issue for ABC1s

 

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 1,020 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 10 and 19 March 2017 at 236 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Michael Clemence Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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