The economy remains the top issue of concern for all going into 2011
But there are different party priorities after that; Conservative supporters are more worried about immigration/ race relations, Labour voters are concerned about inflation/ prices and unemployment, while Liberal Democrat supporters are more concerned about public services.
The first Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index of 2011 shows that the economy remains the most important issue facing the country, of concern for three-fifths (60%) of the public.
The second highest issue of concern is unemployment (27%), and a similar proportion (26%) believe race relations/immigration to be among the most important issues facing the country. Around one in five (22%) are concerned about crime/law and order.
Fieldwork was conducted just after the rise in VAT, and the results have registered some concern about this; 14% place prices/inflation among the most important issues facing the country, the highest since December 2008 following the peak in inflation during the start of the recession.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat supporters are more concerned about the economy than Labour voters However, there are some areas where supporters of the two Coalition parties are far less united:
- Conservative supporters are most concerned about race relations and immigration (37%), while Liberal Democrats are more aligned with Labour supporters in their lower level of concern about this issue (both 21%).
- Liberal Democrat supporters are more worried about unemployment than their Coalition partners (27%, compared to 14% of Conservatives)
- Liberal Democrats are more concerned about education and the NHS than Conservatives.
Labour voters are more worried about unemployment (35%) and inflation/ prices (18%) than supporters of the other two main parties.
The chart below shows some of the key differences by party support.
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 995 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 7th-13th January 2011 at 154 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.