In March and April – immediately prior to and then following the introduction of the UK’s coronavirus restrictions – Populus surveyed 90 MPs in the latest wave of Populus’s regular parliamentary research. The research – conducted while MPs adapted to the impact of restrictions on their own work as well as their constituents – is summarised in our Parliamentary Concern Tracker below.
- Unsurprisingly, MPs across the House of Commons were most likely to be concerned about healthcare and the NHS amid the coronavirus pandemic. 81% of MPs were concerned about the NHS/healthcare (an increase from 43% in February). This 81% included 70% that explicitly mentioned coronavirus. Some MPs were surveyed prior to the introduction of coronavirus restrictions, which might explain the proportion that did not raise concerns about healthcare.
- Housing was also an issue of concern, with 33% mentioning this and Labour MPs were especially likely to mention the subject (54%). Housing has been a common concern over the past year, though there has been a slight fall recently.
- Concern about the economy and employment, however, has increased over the past year and especially in the past few months. Just 6% of MPs mentioned concerns about the economy back in June 2019, but this increased to 22% in February 2020 and increased again to 28% in April.
- Brexit (22%) and benefits/Universal Credit (20%) made up the other issues in the top five of concern. Concerns regarding Brexit – after dominating previous years – have fallen significantly since the general election.