Evidential basis for MWUK’s ‘30 Million’ claim


Public Opinion & Voting: MW 464

Evidential basis for MWUK’s ‘30 Million’ claim

Summary

1. Seven reputable polls published since Spring 2018 enable Migration Watch UK to assert that 30 million adults in the UK support our mission to reduce immigration.

Poll findings

2. YouGov (April 2018) – 1,668 surveyed

Question: Generally speaking, do you think the level of immigration into Britain over the last ten years has been too high, too low or about right?

  • 39% said much too high; 24% said a little too high
  • A total of 63% said too high
  • 3% said a little too low; 1% said much too low
  • A total of 4% said too low

3. Ipsos Mori (May 2018) – 1,067 surveyed

Question: Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Britain nowadays should be increased a lot, increased a little, remain the same as it is, reduced a little, or reduced a lot?

  • 33% said they want it reduced a lot; 23% said they want it reduced a little
  • A total of 56% want it reduced
  • 6% said they want it increased a little; 6% said they want it increased a lot
  • A total of 12% want it increased

4. Pew (June 2018) – 1,005 surveyed

Question: In your opinion, should we allow more immigrants to move to our country, fewer immigrants, or about the same as we do now?

  • 35% said they want fewer immigrants
  • 16% said they want more immigrants

5. Deltapoll (June 2018) – 2,063 surveyed

Question: In the year to September 2017, immigration into the UK stood at 244,000 people. After Brexit, the government has set a target of reducing immigration to "tens of thousands" per year. Do you think that this ambition is [right or wrong]...?

  • 39% said it is right and should be introduced as a policy which is met
  • 34% said it is right and should be introduced as a policy but might be too rigid and should allow for some flexibility
  • A total of 73% said that the target is right and should be introduced as a policy.

6. Hanbury Strategy (November 2018) – 10,025 surveyed

Question: To what extent do you support reducing levels of immigration to the UK?

  • 24.4% somewhat support reducing immigration
  • 33.1% strongly support reducing immigration
  • A total of 57.5% support reducing immigration

7. Ipsos Mori (January 2019) – 2,520 surveyed

Question: Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Britain nowadays should be increased a lot, increased a little, remain the same as it is, reduced a little, or reduced a lot?

  • 33% said they want it reduced a lot; 25% said they want it reduced a little
  • A total of 58% want it reduced
  • 3% said they want it increased a lot; 5% said they want it increased a little
  • A total of 8% want it increased

8. ICM (June 2019) – 2,016 surveyed

Question: In general, do you think the amount of immigration into the UK should [be decreased/increased]?

  • 53% say it should be decreased
  • 13% say it should be increased

UK population

9. According to the ONS, the UK adult population in 2018 stood at 52.4 million.

Applying the percentages of those who think immigration has been too high or wish to see it reduced to the adult population, we arrive at the following estimates of the numbers involved (to the nearest 50,000):

  • YouGov (April 2018): 33,000,000 (of whom 20,450,000 say immigration has been much too high)
  • Ipsos Mori (May 2018): 29,350,000 (of whom 17,300,000 say they want immigration reduced a lot)
  • Pew (June 2018): 18,350,000
  • Deltapoll (June 2018): 38,250,000
  • Hanbury Strategy (November 2018): 30,150,000
  • Ipsos Mori (January 2019): 30,400,000 (of whom 17,900,000 say they want immigration reduced a lot)
  • ICM (June 2019): 27,750,000

10. The average of these figures indicates that 29,600,000 UK adults want to see reductions in immigration.

11. Considering only the three polls (by YouGov and Ipsos Mori) which ask about the degree of reduction people wish to see, an average of 30,900,000 people want a reduction of which 18,550,000 (60%) think immigration has been much too high and/or want to see it reduced a lot.

12. In contrast, applying the same calculation as in para.9 to those who think immigration has been too low and/or want to see it increased, we arrive at the following estimates (the Deltapoll and Hanbury Strategy surveys are not applicable here because they only address reductions, not increases):

  • YouGov (April 2018): 2,100,000
  • Ipsos Mori (May 2018): 6,300,000
  • Pew (June 2018): 6,800,000
  • Ipsos Mori (January 2019): 4,200,000
  • ICM (June 2019): 6,800,000

13. The average of these figures indicates that 5,250,000 UK adults want to see increases in immigration – significantly less than the 8.45million who are themselves foreign born. So over five times as many people want a reduction in immigration as want an increase.

An alternative calculation

14. If a different calculation is used and the above survey findings are weighted according to the size of their sample bases, it can be estimated that an average of 30,350,000 people (58% of the total population) want reductions in immigration.

15. Doing the same calculation for those who want increases, an estimated 5,200,000 people (only 10% of the total adult population) want more immigration.

Conclusion

16. There can be no doubt that public opinion is very strong on the issue of immigration. Boris Johnson’s Government should take heed of popular disaffection with the current scale of inflows and take whatever measures are necessary to bring about substantive reductions. Immigration policy currently reflects a serious democratic deficit and this must be addressed if public faith in the political system is to be restored.

6 August, 2019



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