DESPITE being economically and culturally richer for it, immigration continues to be Britons’ greatest concern. In a poll of 1,015 adults for The Economist by Ipsos-MORI in early November, 37% of the public mentioned it as a worry. That figure fell slightly on the previous month, and may well fall again following David Cameron's immigration speech on November 28th that attempted to assuage his grumbling voters. 

30% of respondents mention the NHS among their concerns—although that number fell by four percentage points from the previous month, when concern was at an eight-year high. But when prompted for the single most important issue concerning them, the NHS is mentioned by just 8% of respondents. By contrast, 17% cite the economy as their single most important worry.

After the €2.1 billion EU budget debacle, concern over Europe increased to 12% this month. Though historically speaking, that is low—concern peaked at 37% in June 1999. That may be because immigration is acting as the greatest bugbear of Britain's European membership.