UK Politics

NHS 'most important issue' suggests BBC/Populus poll

File photo of a ward in a hospital Image copyright PA
Image caption NHS in England bosses have called for an extra £8bn a year above inflation by 2020

A BBC/Populus poll suggests that people think the National Health Service is the most important issue to be covered by the news ahead of the election.

The NHS came ahead of the economy, immigration, welfare and jobs.

Of 4,209 adults asked, 74% ranked it "very important" while 93% found it either "very" or "fairly important".

The findings of the poll, which was carried out between between 14 and 18 January 2015, comes 101 days before the general election on 7 May.

It asked people to rank, by order of importance, the issues that they felt should be covered by the news.

When the "very important" and "fairly important" rankings are combined the order of the issues changes, most notably with immigration dropping four places to seventh most important issue.

How important, if at all, is it that the following issues are covered in the news?
Very important Very/Fairly important
NHS 74 93
UK economy 69 92
Immigration 60 83
Welfare, benefits and pensions 56 89
Jobs and pay 53 88
Education 45 85
Crime/law and order 42 84
Housing 41 81
Europe/EU 40 78
Environment/transport 27 73
The UK's place in the world 25 65
Constitutional reforms/changes to the political system in the UK 22 57
Rural affairs 15 55

In a series of films for the BBC News Channel, Mark Easton, Hugh Pym and Gillian Hargeaves look into three of the issues highlighted in the research:

The NHS - By Hugh Pym

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Media captionHugh Pym: "The big question for all the parties is how they'll fund the NHS over the next five years"

Immigration - By Mark Easton

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Media captionMark Easton asks how immigration will feature in the election campaign

Education - By Gillian Hargreaves

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Media captionGillian Hargreaves on education: "Is there enough money in the government's piggy bank?"

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