Most important issues facing Great Britain 2008-2020

In April 2020, 78 percent of British people thought that pandemics were the most important issue facing the country, the same month in which the Coronavirus pandemic was gripping the nation, with over 26 thousand confirmed UK deaths from the COVID-19 virus by the end of that month. The issue of Brexit, which had dominated the national headlines since Summer 2016 has faded from the national consciousness as a result, with just two percent of people advising it was the most important issue facing the country.

Brexit the main issue between 2016 and 2019
In the wake of the Brexit referendum of 2016 Europe suddenly became an important issue to British people with 28 percent of respondents identifying it as the most important issue facing the country, increasing to 47 percent of people in 2019. Prior to 2016, however the issue barely registered with most of the public, with only three percent of people saying it was an important issue in 2015, with even lower percentages in the years before this point.

Immigration and the economy
From 2008 until 2013, the economy was the most important issue to British people, with immigration taking over in 2014 and 2015, just before Brexit and Europe took center stage. In the wake of the financial crash of 2008 the British economy contracted by 0.5 percent then by 4.2 percent in the following year. The economy steadily became less important an issue to people as the recovery slowly gathered pace in the following years.

What do you see as the most important issue facing Britain today?

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Release date

April 2020


United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Survey time period

July 2010 to April 2020

Number of respondents

999 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

British adults

Method of interview

Telephone interview

Supplementary notes

*Sample size varies
July 2019: 1,011
July 2018: 1,027
July 2017: 1,012
July 2016: 1,025
July 2015: 989
July 2014: 989
July 2013: 956
July 2012: 957
July 2011: 962
July 2010: 992
July 2009: 1,007
July 2008: 1,908

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Statistics on "UK Politics"

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