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Economist/Ipsos MORI March 2014 Issues Index

Published:25 March 2014
Fieldwork:28 February 2014 - 9 March 2014
Keywords:Economy, Immigration, Issues facing Britain, NHS, Unemployment
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

Concern about the economy continues to fall, and once again it is neck and neck with immigration

In this month’s Economist/Ipsos MORI March Issues Index, 36% of the public mention the economy amongst the most important issues facing Britain – a fall of three percentage points since last month, and the lowest percentage to do so since June 2008, when concern was increasing as a result of the financial crisis.

Ipsos MORI: Issues Facing Britain: March

Indeed, looking at the results from one year ago, over half of the public were concerned about the economy, and it had a clear lead over the other issues.Today, however, this lead has all but vanished.

The economy’s pre-eminence comes to an end

A similar percentage (35%) are concerned about race/immigration, and differences in concern about the two top issues are most stark when age and social grade are talken into consideration. Looking at January to March data, half (49%) of ABC1s aged 35-54 mention the economy (compared with 32% who mention race/immigration), whereas the reverse is true amongst 55+ C2DEs (46% mention race/immigration and 30% mention the economy).

Age within social grade: top two issues

In March, a quarter (26%) mention unemployment as among the most important issues facing Britain, a fall of 3 percentage points and the lowest percentage we have recorded since April 2011. However, it rises to 33% amongst 18-34 year old C2DEs, indeed, for them, it is the most important issue facing Britain.

A similar percentage (24%) mention the NHS, meaning that the top four issues have remained the same for 15 consecutive months.

16% are concerned about poverty/inequality, equalling the highest score we have ever recorded for this issue – indeed, this issue is now the fifth most important issue facing Britain. Those who are most concerned include Labour voters (22%).

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 986 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 28th Feb –9th March in 162 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. 

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