What are the challenges facing our country?
Working with BritainThinks, we’ve started exploring our attitudes towards the key challenges facing our country.
We certainly have disagreements, but the polling shows we’re far from hopelessly divided.
There are two challenges in particular that unite us, regardless of background: funding health and social care, and providing better opportunities for families living in poverty.
And when it comes to potential solutions for health and social care funding, we share opinions regardless of whether our wider views are “left-wing” or “right-wing”.
There’s more disagreement around approaches for helping families living in poverty, but there are some areas where people’s views look strikingly similar across party lines.
Some issues stood as being of high priority to some groups, but not to others. The environment, trade and particularly immigration are all examples of this.
But for these issues, views are changing over time. Thanks in part to the extinction rebellion protests and other campaigns, our concern about the environment has increased sharply.
And it seems we broadly agree on the best ways to protect it.
How we feel about immigration has also been shifting. Even amongst those of us who voted leave, it has dropped from being considered the second most important challenge Britain faces (November 2018) to the sixth (June 2019); falling behind crime, terrorism and trade.
When it comes to finding ways forward around immigration, we aren’t split based on traditional left–right political beliefs, but by how socially liberal or socially conservative we are.
Overall, the BritainThinks research revealed that when it comes to the biggest challenges facing the country, we are far from hopelessly divided.