Public services on life support, Brits say in new poll

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By: Mike Underwood


A staggering 84% of voters say public services are in “bad shape” - including schools, health and social care, transport and criminal justice - according to a new WeThink poll. 

Only 16% of people think public services in the UK are working well on an issue that is likely to be a key battleground as the country gears up for a general election in 2024. 

On the NHS, 53% said it was difficult to get a GP appointment, with only 28% saying it was easy and 19% saying neither. 

Just over half of Brits (54%) said they were confident the NHS is there for them when they need it, with 46% saying they weren’t confident.


Confident in NHS


Not confident in NHS

The Government also this week announced £20,000 ‘golden hellos’ to new NHS dentists to fill a current gap in practitioners.

51% of Brits said they do not have an NHS dentist, with 46% saying they did and 3% said they don’t know.

Of those who said “no”, 51% said they have tried unsuccessfully to register with an NHS dentist with 49% saying no to the question. 


Experts this week warned that the pension age may need to rise to 71. A third of Brits said they don’t think they’ll ever receive one, while nearly three quarters think an increase in the state pension age would be unfair. 

WeThink asked British voters if they think they’ll ever receive a state pension?






Already receive my pension

And do you think it is fair to increase the state pension age?


No, it's unfair


Yes, it's fair


More than half of voters said they would support Labour’s proposal to charge VAT on private school fees while exactly half thought the party was right to pull out of its £28bn green fund pledge.

Labour has said it would add VAT to private school fees if it forms the next government. Do you support or oppose this? 

  • 53% support
  • 25% oppose
  • 23% don’t know 

Labour said it can no longer commit to spending £28bn on its green investment plan. Is this the right or wrong decision? 

  • 50% right
  • 50% wrong 


Labour’s lead in the weekly voter intention tracker dropped by six points to 16 this week as the Tories gained ground. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also enjoyed a mini surge as his net approval increased by two and he clawed six points back in our weekly ‘who’d be the best Prime Minister’ tracker. 

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Brexit Tracker - 240209.pngBrexit Tracker with euro - 240209.png

BREXIT (All Respondents)


Re-join (-2)


Stay Out (NC)


Don't know / won't vote (+1)

This week’s poll was conducted on 8-9 February 2024, questioned 1,171 people and is weighted to a national representative population.

For all of WeThink’s polling results and news, visit: or follow WeThink on the following social media platforms:

Image credit is here. 


By: Mike Underwood

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