Foreword

What a year! At one point I was worried that we wouldn’t have much to write about in this year’s Ipsos MORI’s Almanac, but 2016 is a massive reminder that history never moves in straight lines. Millions of words have - and will - be devoted to explaining what drove Britain to Brexit and America to Trump – we cover both here...
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Articles

An existential eruption

A short time after the EU referendum I saw a tweet in my timeline prophesying that ‘in about 20 years’ time the answer to any pub quiz question will be 2016’.1Credit where credit is due, the tweet was by @robboma3, although it is hard to be definitive on originality. You can see the reasoning; the…
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How long can a honeymoon last?

The Conservatives have been ahead of Labour every month in our polls since May 2015, and 2016 is no different. In fact, their lead at the end of October was greater than it has been for seven years, at 18 points. But that shouldn’t be a surprise – it’s obvious we are in a honeymoon…
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Go home 2016, you’re drunk!

Most people in most countries think their country is going wrong. The outlook is extraordinarily bleak in places: in Mexico and France nearly everyone (89%) thinks their country is on the wrong track. Europeans are particularly gloomy – even in countries that are typically viewed as successful, like Germany and Sweden. Britain has a very…
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Virtual reality: don’t believe the hype … yet

You’ve probably come across the VR-hype train by this point. It’s pushed by media organisations, VR companies, techy types and hardware providers. Breathless punditry has claimed 2016 the breakthrough year for Virtual Reality.1https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/28/why-2016-will-be-a-breakthrough-year-for-virtual-reality/ Goldman Sachs has global projections of the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality market being worth up to $182 billion in 2025, similar to the…
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The immigration conundrum

Concern among the public about immigration has increased dramatically since the 1990s. Reaching an all-time high in September 2015, when it was mentioned by 56%, it has remained in the top three issues throughout 2016. Successive governments have failed to allay public concerns on the issue and no political party is seen to have a…
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Millennial myths – and realities

One of the questions we’ve been asked most often over the last year by clients, journalists and commentators is “What do you have on Millennial attitudes and behaviours?” It is completely understandable that Millennials are attracting this sort of attention. They’re a big cohort of young people (usually defined as those born between 1980 and…
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Groomed to perfection? Expectations of men and women in 2016

Earlier this year employment agency Portico was lambasted after it was revealed it required female employees to wear high heels to work.1http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/12/firm-accused-of-sexism-in-high-heels-row-forced-to-change-its-dr/ Social media erupted in anger at this sort of expectation being imposed on female employees in 2016 – a year which has otherwise seen so much progress for women in the workplace, including…
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The feel good factor

Every month, the Ipsos Global Economic Pulse survey asks people around the world to tell us how they think the economy is doing in their country. No economists, analysts or any other kind of so-called experts are involved. What do people see? Well, we can talk about the global economy and the intertwined-ness of international…
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Getting a share of the action

With fewer people watching traditional live television (and as a result the ad breaks between shows) and the rise of online ad blockers, brands are becoming more and more reliant on earned media – the publicity gained through reviews, reposts, likes, shares and mentions – rather than paid advertising spots. But how can you get…
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No place like home

While Brexit and immigration topped public concerns in 2016, one thing the public agrees on is that there is a housing crisis. In August, Ipsos MORI’s Issues Index saw concern about housing reach its highest level since the 1970s, so perhaps it was unsurprising that party conferences and cabinet reshuffles have led to a raft…
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Taking back control

The growth in popularity of ad blocking software is causing sleepless nights among online publishers. But, as they toss and turn at night, they should take comfort in knowing there is a potential resolution that could benefit both advertisers and consumers: we like seeing things online that are relevant to us at that moment in…
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How did Trump do it?

Despite Hilary Clinton getting more votes than Donald Trump (about 1-2% more, close to the three-point lead predicted by pollsters) she failed to win the Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency (not predicted by pollsters). But how did this shock election come about? What is it about Trump and his campaign that managed…
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Bank to the future

As I write this article I’m viewing an advert for Echo, Amazon’s smart speaker for the home of tomorrow. Google has just announced a rival device that will allow users to perform tasks from streaming music, through to controlling their thermostat just by talking to it. If the tech companies’ promises are to be believed,…
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Building Britain: the infrastructure imperative

Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow and fracking at Little Plumpton! The government’s in-tray includes some big decisions about big-budget projects. Thinking in Whitehall is apparently edging towards borrowing to build and a more pragmatic, civic-minded approach to infrastructure; more about jam today (or at least not decades hence), balancing the needs of consumers and citizens.<fn>Julian Francis,…
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Who tops Trump?

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR He trailed the first round of the presidential election with just 21% to Fujimori’s 40%. He overturned it in the second round, albeit by the wafer-thin margin – of just 41,057 in an electorate of 17 million.<fn>Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Source: Ipsos Peru Base: 1,289 adults aged 18+, 12-14 October 2016 Image…
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What do women want? Women in 2016

“Are you excited about becoming our first girl president?” Hillary Clinton remained stony faced when interviewed by Zach Galifianakis parodying an obnoxious talk show host. Until the American Electoral College chose Donald Trump as their 45th President, 2016 seemed like a golden era for representation of women in political life. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel…
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The end of the UK – or is it?

In Scotland, Brexit may mean independence. So, why are we here, how likely is ‘indyref 2’, and what is the state of public opinion on the issue? In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, resulting in Britain leaving the EU despite 62% of Scots voting to stay in, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Brexit…
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Will the machines take over our jobs?

People have always had a fascination with robots – from Da Vinci’s automatons in the 15th century right the way through to Channel 4’s biggest drama hit in 20 years, Humans, which is back for a second season. The power and capability of robotics and computing is increasing at pace – Google Deepmind’s AlphaGo programme…
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What happened with the polling?

The result of June’s referendum was a major shock for the political and business establishment, who apparently saw Britain voting to stay in the EU as a foregone conclusion. But if they did, their mistaken certainty cannot be blamed on the polls. Even though almost all of the final polls pointed towards a Remain win,…
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