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Revealed: The issue troubling Brits the most

by LLB Editor
22nd Apr 20 11:45 am

The April 2020 Ipsos MORI Issues Index records 85% of the public saying the coronavirus is one of the most important issues facing the country,on a par with the highest score for any issue since the series began in September 1974. 

During periods of the 1980s, concern about unemployment was also as high, with a peak of 87% in 1982.

Compared with February, concern about pandemic diseases has increased by eighty percentage points. This is the biggest jump in concern in the 46-year history of the Issues Index, and is the highest score recorded for this code since it began in 2006.

It should be noted that because of the impact of the coronavirus, this month’s Issues Index has been carried out by telephone, rather than face-to-face, for the first time in its 46-year history, which means some caution should be taken when making exact comparisons with previous months.

Having said that the questions were asked exactly the same; the answers are spontaneous responses, and participants are not prompted with any answers.

The level of public concern about the coronavirus leaves less public attention for previously front-running issues:

  • The proportion who specifically mention the NHS as an important issue has fallen by sixteen percentage points, from 44% in February to 28% in April (however, it is likely that general concern about the coronavirus will include worries about its impact on the country’s health system).
  • There has been a similar decline in concern about Brexit: from 39% to 26%
  • The level of public mentions of the environment, pollution and climate change has more than halved, dropping 16 percentage points from 25% to 9%
  • Just six per cent mention crime as a concern this month, down thirteen percentage points on the February total

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