Concern about the economy falls, though it still remains the paramount issue
Ipsos MORI’s September issues index shows a seven percentage point fall in concern about the economy; just over half (54%) cite it as among the most important issues facing Britain, down from 61% in August. However, despite this fall, it still remains the issue that is “first, and the rest nowhere” in terms of public concern, with a 20 percentage point lead over the next most important issue, unemployment, which is mentioned by a third of the public (34%).
This fall in concern coincides with a recent interview given by Mervyn King to Channel 4 in which he talked of “a few signs of a slow recovery”, as well as our recent Political Monitor, which shows that economic optimism is at its highest point since July 2010.
A fifth (20%) of the public are concerned about race relations/immigration, and a the same percentage are concerned about the NHS, ranging from a third (32%) of those in social grade AB to just one in seven (14%) of those in social grade DE.
Looking further down the list of concerns, 12% are concerned about poverty/inequality, the highest percentage since before the millennium. Also, concern about housing has increased by three percentage points to 11%, the highest level of concern in four years as Downing Street announces a package of measures designed to boost the housing industry, including a £10 billion guarantee for building new homes.
Just one in twenty (5%) are concerned about defence/foreign affairs, a fall of two percentage points and the lowest level since prior to 9/11, despite a recent upsurge in ‘green on blue’ attacks in Afghanistan.
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 959 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 31st August and 17th Sept 2012 at 154 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.