The NHS is the biggest issue voters will consider in this general election, our survey of life in Huddersfield has revealed.
The survey was compiled before the two terror attacks so people didn’t have the opportunity to select tackling terrorism as an option.
Of the 629 people who responded, 32.75% said the NHS was the biggest issue, followed by Britain leaving the European Union (25.15%), the economy in third (12.40%) and immigration fourth (6.84%).
The survey was anonymous and people could skip questions. Here are the results:
Which constituency do you live in?
Colne Valley: 197
Calder Valley: 13
Batley & Spen: 8
Who did you vote for at the last election?
Didn’t vote: 65
Lib Dem: 48
Prefer not to say: 36
Will you vote in the 2017 General Election?
Don’t know: 45
Reasons given included “politicians are corrupt” “broken promises” and “not old enough”.
Which of the following best describes how you vote:
I vote for the same party in every election: 168
I’m a floating voter: 192
I base my vote on the candidate’s reputation / what they say in leaflets etc: 164
I base my vote on what the media (national/local): 25
I will vote tactically to unseat the current MP: 51
I will vote tactically to retain the current MP: 23
Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
Don’t know: 40
What is the main issue you’ll consider when voting in this General Election?
Britain leaving the EU: 158
Local issues: 15
Reducing crime: 4
I won’t vote: 11
Other: 10 – Answers included environment; taxation; ending austerity; social care; mental health, seeing off the threat of 1970s socialism, housing, pensions, and wages.
Does your MP’s view on Brexit influence if you will vote for them?
Don’t know: 48
Will Kirklees Council cuts and policies affect your general election vote?
No, as the budgets are set by the government: 321
Yes, they choose how to spend the money: 230
Other: 35 – includes “We only get this one chance to get brexit right. We have years to tackle/fix local issues.”
Another said: “Bit of both, Yes the local authority are unfairly treated by the government regarding budget, but it’s not stopped them wasting resources.”
What are your most important issues?
Keeping A&E open: 460
Improving education: 336
Reducing crime: 266
Improving our town centres: 258
Getting people into work: 251
Protecting jobs: 231
Improving activities/chances for young people: 207
Helping the homeless: 189
Improving transport: 153
Reducing the welfare bill: 130
What do you think of politicians?
They do what they want: 271
The tow the party line regardless of local feeling: 158
They listen to people’s views: 49
They sacrifice their own time for the public good: 45
Other: 77 - reasons given: “I think that for every ‘good’ politician who stands up for their constituents and does a good job, there are 2 more who are in it for themselves, for the image, the money, the expenses and the power.”
“Too many are too young. They have no experience. Nobody should be allowed to stand in a General Election under the age of 45, and they should have had a “normal” job previously - NOT political advisor/spin doctor.”
Which best reflects your view of the NHS:
I want the NHS to remain publicly-owned with no private involvement: 263
I welcome some private involvement if it improves services / reduces waiting times: 112
I think the NHS is too top-heavy: 79
The NHS should be taken out of the control of politicians: 67
Management of the NHS should be more accountable to local citizens: 38
Doctors should run the NHS with no political involvement: 32
Communities need a greater involvement in how the NHS runs locally: 21
Other: 15 - “People’s expectation of a health service have increased faster than what they are prepared to pay, if anything, for the service.”
Which best reflects your view on Brexit:
We should control immigration after Brexit: 225
We should have another referendum when we know what the deal is: 172
We should walk away without a deal: 67
We should pay into the EU still if it secures a trade deal: 55
We should allow immigration ever after Brexit: 44
Other 62 - includes “Brexit should be progressed on an all party basis, i.e. there should be a committee to manage the process with all parties represented” and “It’s a far too complicated issue to reduce to a simple question. This why we elect MPs to decide for us.”
Please tell us what your priority should be for Kirklees Council:
There were 426 answers - the most common answer related to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary A&E.
Second was improving the town centre.
Key words used were “wasting money” “homelessness” “not building on greenbelt”.
Does your candidates social media activity affect your vote?
No it doesn’t influence me: 306
I don’t use/follow them on social media: 223
Yes it influences me: 72
Yes it puts me off voting for them: 26
Is your quality of life better now than 5 years ago?
The same: 197
Don’t know: 19
Based on who you will vote for, do you think your quality of life will be better in 5 years?
Don’t know: 141
The same: 129
Sum up where you live in 3 words:
We had a range of words, among the most common were “could be better” and “could be worse”. Other key words used included beautiful, friendly, nice, rural, deprived, dump, neglected.
How happy are you on a scale of 1-10 (1 low, 10 high)?
Prefer not to say: 12
What age are you?
Under 18: 3