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by GK Strategy 29th September, 2014
3 min read

MPs’ postbags full of surprises

The Great British public are troubled more by the welfare of badgers than care for the elderly or the state of our children’s schools – according to recent research unveiled by pollster Ipsos MORI. The findings from their bi-yearly interviews with parliamentarians showcased what topics MPs receive the most correspondence on, revealing the top anxieties troubling the electorate in the run up to the general election next year. Top of the list were issues concerning asylum, immigration and refugees, closely followed by the welfare state, housing and the NHS respectively.

Remarkably – or perhaps not given the UK’s global reputation as animal lovers – animal welfare makes three entries in the top fourteen topics voters grill MPs on; the controversial badger culls came in fifth (ahead of child support in at six, and care of the elderly at seven), while animal research and experimentation peaked at number eight, and fox hunting at number fourteen. With a fifth of the list of top concerns being aligned to disputes typically associated with the Green Party, this research is rather encouraging for the environmentalist party, although we must take into account the impact of campaigning organisations such as 38 Degrees which promote mass mailings on single issues. Indeed their only current MP, Caroline Lucas, looks set to lose her Brighton and Hove seat next year.

Somewhat surprisingly, the polling also indicates that Conservative and Labour voters pressure points are identical. 75% of Conservatives have immigration as a top priority, while the figure is distinctly lower at 52% for Labour supporters. Housing is the top issue for those in red, with 74% prioritise housing as the greatest matter, compared to just 42% of Conservatives.

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