Royal Holloway and Survation have today released an update to their quarterly issue importance tracker, showing which issues are most important in each of Great Britain's 632 Westminster constituencies.
This second edition of the issue tracker is based on fieldwork between 22 April and 6 July 2022. It shows that the economy was the top issue in the overwhelming majority of constituencies (574 out of 632 constituencies). The other issues which were top in at least one constituency were Brexit (39 constituencies), conduct in government (13) and coronavirus (six constituencies).
The issue of the economy has shot up the agenda as inflation has reached 40-year highs, with growth expected to slow over the coming year. The proportion of constituencies citing the economy as the most important issue has grown in response, from seven in every ten constituencies in the first quarter, to nine in ten in this quarter's release.
Brexit remains the most important issue for a number of city centre constituencies in London, Birmingham and Manchester – areas disproportionately likely to be represented by Labour MPs.
Although it was rarely the most important issue in any constituency, "conduct in government" was almost always the next most important issue. "Conduct in government" was the second most important issue in 523 constituencies in total. This is perhaps unsurprising: the quarter began with the resignation of Neil Parish MP, found to have watched porn in the Commons chamber, and ended with scandal involving Chris Pincher MP, a scandal which ultimately led to the resignation of the Prime Minister.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Professor Chris Hanretty from Royal Holloway’s Democracy and Elections Centre, said: “We said that we wanted this tracker survey to show which issues were most important 'on the doorstep'. We'd hoped that we might show how varied the country is – how the concerns in Colchester might be different from demands in Devon. But the picture this quarter is pretty uniform – people are concerned about the economy.”
The next release of the issues importance tracker will be in October this year following the end of the third quarter. An interactive map of the results can be found here.
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