Populus Poll

The Saga Populus Panel is the largest research panel, gauging the attitudes and opinions of today's over 50s in the UK.
Saga/Populus Panel March 2018: Saga Populus logo

Saga/Populus Panel March 2018

Executive summary

Buying books
— Nine in ten (90%) Saga respondents say they buy books. Half (49%) purchase their books from high street retailers such as Waterstones and WHSmith, and a similar proportion (46%) say they buy books online. A quarter (26%) buy them from the Kindle store, Apple or Google Play.
— Four in ten (38%) Saga respondents that buy books say they do so at least once a month. A quarter (26%) say they buy books once every few months and a further quarter (27%) say they do so a few times a year.
— Thriller or mystery books (41%) are the most popular genre among respondents that buy books, followed by history books (12%). The genres that are bought least often are Adventure and Sci-Fi books (both 3%).
— Three quarters (73%) of respondents say that hearing a positive review of a book by friends or family would make them more inclined to buy it. A positive review in a newspaper or online are said to have less of an impact (62% and 55% respectively, say these would make them more inclined to buy the reviewed book).
— Women are more likely to be influenced by a good review than men, either from friends or family (80% and 67% respectively), in print (69% and 57% respectively) or online (61% and 51% respectively).

Private GPs
— When considering the last time they made a GP appointment, six in ten (58%) say they had to wait a week to get an appointment. A quarter (26%) say they had to wait one-two weeks, and 15% say they have had to wait longer than two weeks.
— Most respondents (94%) say they have not seen a private GP in the last year, with just 6% saying they had. This rises to one in ten (10%) amongst respondents age 80-89.
— A shorter waiting period is the most common reason for seeing a private GP (29%) by those that have seen one in the last year. Following this, 13% say they chose to visit a private GP for access to different treatment.
— Of those who say they have seen a private GP in the last year, two-thirds (64%) say that they had not used a private GP two years ago, while three in ten (31%) had.
— A very small number of respondents (2%) say they have had a webcam or Skype appointment with a GP. <1% say that this video appointment was with a private GP.

House alterations and renovation
— One in ten (11%) say they are conducting a major building project such as an extension, a loft conversion, adding a conservatory or a new kitchen/bathroom. This is more common among those age 50-59 (17%) than those age 80-89 (5%).
— Over a third of those conducting or planning a building project (36%) are working on a new kitchen or bathroom. Knocking down walls (14%), building an extension (13%) or building a new conservatory (11%) are the next most popular domestic building alterations.
— The desire to modernise their property is the most popular reason for over half of those planning or conducting a domestic building project (55%). One in five say they are altering their home to make it easier to for old age or a disability (21%) or to increase the value of their home (20%).
— Nine in ten (88%) of Saga respondents say they have a shed, garage, garden room or other outbuilding on their property.
— The majority of those with a shed, garage, garden room or outbuilding say they use it for storage purposes (86%). 11% use their outbuilding as a summer house, while 4% use it as an art studio or a space for social entertaining.

Plastic waste
— Saga Respondents are more likely to support than oppose measures to reduce the use of single-use plastics, including a tax on; disposable coffee cups (83% vs. 7%); chewing gums (82% vs. 6%); cigarette filters (81% vs. 5%); disposable takeaway boxes (81% vs. 8%); and plastic wrap such as those often found on vegetables in supermarkets (78% vs. 10%).
— Support for measures to reduce single use plastics diminishes slightly amongst those that support each initiative if the tax increased the costs of products by 10%. If tax increased the cost of the relevant products by 10%; 15% of those supporting a tax on plastic wrap; 14% supporting a tax on takeaways; 11% of those supporting a tax on disposable coffee cups; 8% supporting a tax on chewing gum; and 6% of those supporting a tax on cigarettes would either be neutral or oppose the tax.

Populus interviewed 14,798 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 20th and 26th March 2018. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk.

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Lisa Harris

Head of Communications

01303 774716


Angela Clifton

Deputy Head of Communications

01303 776504


pressoffice@saga.co.uk