Ipsos MORI Issues Index: A rise in those who think the NHS and poverty/inequality are important issues facing Britain – but Brexit and immigration are still seen as the single biggest issues.
In the latest end of year Ipsos MORI/Economist Issues Index, there has been a sharp rise in those who see the NHS as one of the biggest issues facing Britain. Concern has risen eight percentage points since November and stands at 40%, above Brexit and immigration, which are both on 36% this month. Fieldwork occurred across December and early January, when stories about the pressures facing the NHS topped the news agenda.
Having said that, when asked to consider the single biggest issue facing Britain, Brexit and the European Union comes out on top, with 24% expressing concern about this topic. Nineteen per cent mention immigration, and just ten per cent mention the NHS.
Concern about the NHS is concentrated amongst older people; 47% of those aged 55 and over cite it as one of the biggest issues facing Britain, compared to 34% of those aged 18-34. Fifty-two per cent of those living in the south of England (excluding London) name it as one of the biggest issues facing Britain.
The proportion seeing poverty and inequality as one of the biggest issues facing Britain stands at 20%, up six percentage points and highest figure recorded since this category was first measured in December 1997.
This new record has been driven by higher-than-average concern amongst a number of demographic groups. These include women (23%), those from social grades AB (24%), Labour party supporters (27%) and Londoners (23%). Concern is lower amongst groups including men (15%), rural-dwellers (13%) and those aged 65+ (16%).
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 1,028 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 2nd December 2016 and 15th January 2017 at 184 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
The facts may have changed on Brexit - but people’s minds have not
Reflecting the national vote in the 2016 referendum, voters in Bedford split almost the same way, with 51.8% voting to leave the EU. Two years on, we joined the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to ask local Bedford residents what they have to say on the matter now.