Some familiar names from October surfaced in the public’s top most noticed stories this month. Kevin Spacey was the most searched for Google search term in early days of November, with the topic of sexual harassment controversies capturing 25% of the public’s attention in the second week. Donald Trump, no stranger to the headlines himself, appeared in the public’s top 10 most noticed stories almost every week. He continued to court controversy right up to the last day of the month, when #WhyBritsDontWantTrump was the top most searched for trend on Twitter of its day.
The first week of November was marked by the Bank of England’s announcement of a rise in interest rates – the first in over 10 years, from 0.25% to 0.5%. The topic was among the most searched for terms on Google in the same week. It didn’t appear to deter bargain hunters from Black Friday Deals however; the most searched for term on Google on its day. A closer look at Google Trends data shows that the concept is a fairly new arrival, having only been an ‘event’ of any note in the last few years.
Attention then shifted to the Budget which, captured 32% of the public’s attention in its week. On the day that Philip Hammond delivered his second budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer, #Budget2017 was the most searched for trend on Twitter. The Budget itself saw stamp duty cut for first time buyers and a scrapping of the planned fuel duty rise, which had been scheduled for April 2018, for petrol and diesel cars. The latter is one of a long line of Government initiatives relating to the automotive sector. Research published in November by the AA-Populus Motoring Panel shows that around two-thirds (67%) of motorists say the 2040 ban will not affect their car choice ‘for years’.
In keeping with much of 2017, politics was on the public’s mind throughout the month. Priti Patel’s resignation in early November was a topic noticed by 10% of the UK public. But by the end of the month, Brexit was once again the main focus. It was the second most noticed topic, capturing 25% of the public’s attention, in the same week that Theresa May was preparing for the second phase of negotiations with Brussels.
And national spirits were lifted at the end of the month with the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement; a story that was noticed by almost a third (27%) of the UK public in the final week. Meghan Markle was the most searched for term on Google on the day of the announcement, suggesting that perhaps not everyone was up to speed on the Prince’s fiance. But that didn’t stop newsfeeds everywhere speculating over the odds of another bank holiday (later ruled out by PM Theresa May) as #royalwedding trended on Twitter.