Sunday Mirror / Independent Political Poll Jan 2017
Political poll about the NHS and a maximum wage cap on behalf of the Sunday Mirror and Independent.

NHS

  • Half of the British public agree that the Red Cross was right to describe the NHS as being in a ‘humanitarian crisis’ - just more than a third disagree (47% v 36%).
  • However, sentiment towards the NHS is nonetheless positive - 71% of the public say that the NHS provides a high standard of care to patients, a 13 point increase since 2013.
  • Satisfaction with Jeremy Hunt’s performance as Health Secretary has fallen since 2013 with a 16 point increase in the proportion of the public who disagree that he is doing a good job (53%). More 2015 Conservative voters disagree that he’s doing a good job than agree he is (35% v 23%).
  • Despite the perceived sense of ‘crisis’ and the Health Secretary’s poor personal ratings, the public is more likely to trust Theresa May and the Conservatives than Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party with managing the NHS this winter (43% v 31%).
  • A majority of the public are prepared to pay more tax if it was earmarked for the NHS (53%), compared to the 16% who are not. If it was earmarked just for mental health care, 42% would be prepared to pay more tax compared to 38% who would not be.

Wage cap

  • The idea of a wage cap for bosses of 20 times the company average has majority support (57%) amongst the public, with even slightly more Conservative voters supporting the idea than opposing it (49% vs 41%).

 

Findings in detail:

Q. Do you agree or disagree with these statements? Figures in brackets show change since 2013.

Statement Agree Disagree Don’t know
Overall, the NHS provides a high standard of care to patients 71%

(+13)

17%

(-10)

11%
The NHS is more focused on meeting Government targets than on ensuring high standards of patient care 58%

(-8)

22%

(+6)

20%
NHS nursing has become less compassionate in recent years 45%

(-20)

35%

(+16)

19%
Patient care in the NHS is worse today than it was ten years ago 56%

(+1)

22%

(+1)

21%
I have experienced unacceptably poor standards of care in the NHS in the past two years, either personally or through family members 28%

(-6)

68%

(+14)

5%
Jeremy Hunt is doing a good job as Health Secretary 12%

(-4)

53%

(+16)

35%
I or my family have struggled to get a GP appointment in the past 12 months* 43%

(+2)

54%

(+1)

3%
People who can afford to pay for NHS treatment should be required to do so* 30%

(+5)

53%

(-6)

18%

Base: All respondents (n=2,038). Changes tracked from previous ComRes polls in May 2013, or if marked with * from July 2013.

 

  • Those who voted Labour in 2015 are more likely than those who voted Conservative to say that patient care in the NHS is worse than it was 10 years ago (64% v 49%). Half of 2015 Conservative voters agree that it is worse than it was 10 years ago, compared to around one in three who disagree (49% v 31%).
  • Agreement that the NHS provides a high standard of care to patients appears to increase with age. 59% of 18-24 year olds agree with this is the case, but gradually increases up the age range to 82% of those aged 65+.
  • A higher proportion of young people than older people say they have or their family struggled to get a GP appointment in the past 12 months. Half (51%) of 18-24 year olds say this compared to only one in three (31%) of those aged 65+.
  • They also appear more likely to have had negative experiences generally. One in three (32%) of 18-24 year olds and 38% of 25-34 year olds say they have experience unacceptable levels of care, compared to around one in six (18%) of those aged 65+.
  • A majority of voters of nearly every party disagree that NHS treatment should be chargeable for people who can afford to pay. The only exception is UKIP voters who are split (39% agree vs 43% disagree).

 

Q. For each of these pairs of statements, which one comes closest to your view?

Statement A % Don’t know % Statement B
Theresa May and the Conservatives would do a better job than Jeremy Corbyn and Labour at managing the NHS this winter 43% 26% 31% Jeremy Corbyn and Labour would do a better job than Theresa May and the Conservatives at managing the NHS this winter
The Red Cross was right to describe the NHS as being in a ‘humanitarian crisis’ 47% 17% 36% The Red Cross was overblowing it to say the NHS is in a ‘humanitarian crisis’
I am prepared to pay more tax if it was earmarked for mental health care 42% 20% 38% I am not prepared to pay more tax if it was earmarked for mental health care
I am prepared to pay more tax if it was earmarked for the NHS 53% 16% 31% I am not prepared to pay more tax if it was earmarked for the NHS
The Civil Service seems to be biased towards wanting Britain to stay in the EU 41% 38% 21% The Civil Service does not seem to be biased towards a position on whether Britain stays in the EU
I believe Theresa May when she says she wants to try and help people who are ‘just about managing’ 41% 14% 45% I do not believe Theresa May when she says she wants to try and help people who are ‘just about managing’
Theresa May should pursue a close relationship with Donald Trump because it is in Britain’s best interests 49% 20% 31% Theresa May should not pursue a close relationship with Donald Trump even if Britain’s interests would be harmed
Government should encourage companies, through measures like taxes and Government contracts, to cap bosses’ salaries at a maximum of 20 times the company average 57% 13% 30% It is up to employers how much they are prepared to pay their staff and the Government should not try to set a limit on it

Base: All respondents (n=2,038)

  • Labour voters are generally prepared to pay extra tax for mental health care (49% would, 35% would not) whereas the Conservatives are split (39% v 41%).
  • Half of Conservative voters (53%) and 63% of UKIP voters say that the Civil Service seems to be biased towards wanting Britain to stay in the EU - although one in three Labour voters say the same (33%), the same proportion who think that the Civil Service doesn’t seem biased.
  • Older people are more likely than young people to say they believe Theresa May when she says she wants to help people who are ‘just about managing’– 56% of 65+ year olds say they believe Theresa May compared to 31% of 18-24 year olds.
  • Labour is split when it comes to whether or not Theresa May should pursue a close relationship with Donald Trump, with 37% of Labour voters saying that she should versus 46% who say she shouldn’t. For Conservative voters, there is a clear consensus with 65% saying that Theresa May should pursue a close relationship with Donald Trump, versus 20% who say she shouldn’t.
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Date Published
14th January 2017
Client
Independent / Sunday Mirror
Methodology
ComRes interviewed 2,038 GB adults online between 11th and 13th January 2017. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults aged 18+. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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