State of the Nation – the latest from The QT

07/11/2017

As the leaves drop and the temperatures chill, we have put our ear to the ground and asked the nation how they’re feeling, and there are some interesting discoveries in there.

This time round, we covered the usual consumer happiness, confidence and intentions to spend questions, but complemented them with a deep dive into the nation’s changing eating and drinking habits, what they REALLY thought of the Great British Bake Off, and how they’re feeling about Christmas.

So, what have we learnt since August?

We’re even happier than before! Despite the autumnal chill, happiness has increased 4%pts versus August. Only 14% claim to be unhappy, down from 22% in the summer. This could be because incomes aren’t feeling as squeezed as they were in 2016 – 21% are feeling more comfortable vs 17% in November last year.

The government haven’t fared quite as well though. After confidence plummeted from May to August, we’ve seen a further decline of 7%pts to 12% confidence. This is in contrast to 32% in May 2017. The whole political system has seen a similar erosion in public confidence over the same period. This could link to the fact that relief over the Brexit process being underway is waning – 16% in August and down to 9% this month. Confusion continues to grow, up 5%pts since May.

What about the TV event of 2018 – the much-anticipated return of #GBBO to C4?

Whilst viewing figures have shown the series to be a success, we wanted to ask Brits what they really felt about it. Attitudes to the ad breaks were muted, only 20% of Brits said they bothered them at all. Only 1 in 10 Brits (9%) claimed not to watch the series because of the adverts. Just over a quarter of Brits found them useful, following Prue Leith’s advice and using the ad breaks to make a cup of tea, nip to the loo etc.

Crucially, 2 in 5 (40%) said they didn’t understand what all the fuss was about when it went to Channel 4, and a quarter of Brits (25%) are happy for more BBC content to move to commercial broadcasters – opening up the door to other high-profile moves.

It wouldn’t be The QT without a few questions on Christmas…

We took some of our findings from the November 2016 results and decided to see how the nation’s attitudes have changed this year.

Amazingly, the Coca Cola ad continues to set the standard for the opening of the festive season. In 2016, 16% of Brits felt it signalled the start of Christmas, and this has grown to 20% this year. For younger Brits, the John Lewis has a bigger symbolism – with 33% of 18-24s saying this is when Christmas starts. Older millennials, who have grown up with “Holidays are coming” ringing in their ears, are still faithful. 37% see this as the start of the season.

This nostalgia doesn’t carry through to festive tunes though – 25-44s were the group most likely to wish there were more new Christmas songs (29% vs 18% of the wider population).

What’s next?

The first 2018 wave of The QT will run in early February. For more information on the study, the latest results or to add a question, please contact Frances.Revel@the7stars.co.uk

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