Everyone knows that the election is almost upon us. The news is dominated with headlines of political conflict at numerous levels. Most recently, Ed Miliband - perhaps the country's next Prime Minister - has said that the coalition government has “betrayed patients” over A&E waiting times.
With the two main parties exchanging blows, YouGov’s latest poll, released on Wednesday, puts Labour and the Conservatives each on 33%. The previous YouGov poll had Labour on 34% and the Conservatives on 31%, highlighting just how close the election is.
The poll also puts the Lib Dems on 7%, the same as in the previous poll. The Greens are also placed on 8%, again the same as in the company’s previous poll. As for UKIP they are down one point to 13%.
UKIP’s 13% is the lowest the party has seen for some time in YouGov’s polls, whilst the Greens are clearly gaining some ground over the Liberal Democrats.
The poll also suggests that the three most important issues affecting the country are immigration and asylum (picked by 52% of respondents), the economy (also picked by 52% of respondents) and health (picked by 46%).
However, respondents were also asked what they thought were the most important issues facing their families. The top three issues for one’s family were the economy (49%), health (40%) and pensions (25%).
Such findings indicate that the economy, health, pensions and immigration could be incredibly fundamental factors in deciding this year’s election. The current debate on A&E waiting times is already illustrating the importance of health in the run up to the election.
Additionally, immigration has been a hot topic ever since UKIP walked onto the main political stage, and with the growing aging populace, pensions have become incredibly important. As for the economy: inflation, unemployment and growth are always on the minds of politicians.
These are the issues that could decide the election, and with Ed Miliband’s Labour party and David Cameron’s Conservatives neck and neck, every move in the next four months could be vital for either’s survival.
And with so many unpredictable factors in May, anything’s possible.
YouGov interviewed 1769 GB respondents between the 5th and 6th of January. The full results of the poll can be found here.