The economy remains the biggest issue facing the country, particularly among coalition supporters
For the 23rd consecutive month, the economy is the most important issue facing the country, according to the public. Ipsos MORI's August Issues Index shows that three fifths (61%) are concerned about this issue, a similar figure to last month. Two fifths (42%) feel that it is the single most important issue, whilst a further 19% place it among the most important issues.
Coalition supporters are more likely to be concerned about the economy compared with supporters of other parties; 69% of Conservative voters mention it, as well as three quarters (74%) of Liberal Democrat supporters.
As has been the case since October, race relations/immigration is seen as the second most important issue facing Britain – three in ten (30%) mention it, and again there is a difference based on party allegiance – two fifths (39%) of Conservative supporters place it among the most important issues facing the country, compared with around a quarter of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters.
However, Labour supporters are more likely to be concerned about unemployment (29%) compared with the average (24%) and Conservative voters (18%), and this, as with last month, is the third most important issue facing the country.
Crime/law and order has decreased in importance by five points since July, with the release of the British Crime Survey figures last month showing that crime has fallen to a 29-year low. Around a fifth (19%) mention it – the lowest proportion recorded by our monthly issues index since April 2004. Indeed, for much of 2007/2008 it was seen as the most important issue facing the country.
Just under a fifth (18%) are concerned about Education and the NHS, two issues which have declined considerably in perceived importance since Tony Blair’s time as Prime Minister. One in ten (10%) are concerned about Benefits/Pensions/Social Security, and it will be interesting to see if this increases as pressure on public spending continues.
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 978 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 13th-19th August 2010 at 168 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.