Immigration top of the list of issues getting the attention of voters in the past month

Continuing prominence of immigration in Snapshot survey comes after moves to discourage both Ukrainian refugees and people seeking asylum from coming to Ireland

Immigration remains at the top of the list of issues getting the attention of voters in the past month, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos B&A Snapshot survey of public sentiment. Over a fifth (22 per cent) of respondents to the survey cited immigration issues when asked what they had noticed about what the Government had done recently. This represents a decline of two points from last month.

Next on the list was housing, at 15 per cent, again a decline of four points from last month.

Climate change/sustainability was the next most frequently mentioned issue, cited by 7 per of respondents, with social policies at 5 per cent and democracy/political process also mentioned by 5 per cent.

Healthcare was mentioned by just 4 per cent, with the same number mentioning the Palestine/Israel conflict.


The cost of living and crime – previously areas of high concern amongst voters – were each mentioned by just 3 per cent of respondents, as was employment. Energy prices, budget, the economy, taxes and education were all mentioned by just 2 per cent each.

The new survey – which was initiated by Ipsos B&A last summer and first reported by The Irish Times last month – asks more than 1,000 respondents the following question: “What have you come across in what the Government has said or done recently that has made you think the country is going in the right or wrong direction?”

Their responses are then collated and sorted by issue and whether they view the Government in a positive or negative light as a result.

The continuing prominence of immigration issues in what the public is noticing about the Government comes after moves since the new year designed to discourage both Ukrainian refugees and people seeking asylum from coming to Ireland. The social welfare rates to new Ukrainian refugees have been slashed, while male asylum seekers are now not being accommodated by the State immediately. Some of the 1,000 male asylum seekers who have not been provided with accommodation are now sleeping in tents on the streets of Dublin.

Today’s results of the Snapshot survey suggests that immigration will continue to be a significant political issue as local and European elections loom this summer.

The vast majority – 83 per cent – of comments about immigration made by participants in the survey were negative towards the Government’s response. Almost as many – 79 per cent – of housing comments were negative, though there were net positives for the Government on climate change/sustainability and social policies.

Snapshot is a measure of what is top-of-mind for citizens when asked to consider what the Government has done or said recently that may indicate if the country is going in the right or wrong direction. The research only takes into account first mentions and all responses are recorded verbatim, without any prompting, allowing the most important issues to come to the fore.

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Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times