Highest level of concern about the NHS in over three years although the economy still dominates the agenda
In a month in which the spotlight has been fixed on the reform of the health service, the Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that a quarter of the public (26%) think that the NHS is one of the most important issues facing Britain. This is an increase of six percentage points since April, and the highest level of concern since January 2008.
Those who are more likely to be concerned include those working in the public sector (37%). Those in social grades AB are more likely to be concerned (36%) than DE respondents (19%). Those in London (16%) and the South East (20%) are less likely to be concerned than the rest of the country, while those in Wales are most concerned (34%).
By contrast, concern about crime/law and order continues to decline; only one in six (17%) mention this issue, a drop of five percentage points and the lowest level of concern since October 2001.
Nevertheless, the economy remains the most important issue for half of the public (55%). Those most concerned include those aged 35-54 in social grades ABC1 (67%). For over a quarter (27%), unemployment is among the most important issues facing the country, rising to a third (33%) of Labour voters.
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 998 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 thissurvey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 6 -12 May 2011 at 160 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.