Which issues will decide the general election?

Sarah Prescott-SmithSenior Research Executive
November 07, 2019, 11:06 AM GMT+0

As campaigning begins in earnest YouGov unveils what the British public consider the most important issues facing the country, and how this compares to the 2017 general election

It has dominated the headlines for years and neatly divided the entire country. So it’s no surprise that with just five weeks until December’s election, Brexit remains the top issue for the British public. Some 68% of Britons rank it within their top three.

During the same period ahead of the 2017 general election we saw a very similar picture, with 64% of the British public considering Brexit to be a top-three issue.

Healthcare currently sits in second place behind Brexit, with 40% of the public placing it in their top three. In 2017 this figure was a very similar 45%.

Huge shifts in the importance of crime and the environment

However, there have been some notable shifts. In 2017, 34% of the British public considered the economy one of the three most important issues facing the country. Now, the economy places just outside of the top three, falling 9 percentage points to 25%.

The issue of crime has jumped to become Brits’ third most important issue. Indeed, there has been a dramatic increase in the significance of crime to the public. In early May 2017, just 11% considered it one of the most important issues facing Britain. Now over one in four Brits (28%) believe it is one the most pressing issues facing the country today.

We have also seen similar trends in the importance of the environment. In the lead up to the 2017 general election, only 8% of the British public considered it one of the top three important issues, placing it 26 percentage points behind the economy. Crucially, the environment is now tied with the economy as Britain’s fourth most important issue, with 25% of Brits placing it in one of their top three.

And whilst immigration and asylum took the third spot in the lead up to the 2017 election at 35%, it now sits behind both the economy and the environment, at 22%.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here