New polling conducted by Migration Watch UK demonstrates significant public support for reducing immigration into Britain.
Despite claims in recent years that after Brexit the British public are now softer on immigration and its impact, the new Deltapoll findings illustrate serious concern among voters about the handling of immigration by the government.
The polling shows that 60% of the public wish to see the number of immigrants coming to the UK reduced, with 34% saying they want it reduced by a lot. The strength of that view increases with the age of the respondent. As for Conservative supporters, 73% favour a reduction in immigration, with 49% saying they want a reduction by a lot. Among those who voted Conservative in 2019 but who no longer support the party that figure is 86%, suggesting that immigration was one reason for their abandoning the party.
Asked for their view of the increase of seven million in the UK’s population due to immigration over the past twenty years, 47% of respondents said that it was fairly negative or very negative, 28% thought it fairly or very positive. Of those intending to vote Conservative, 60% saw it as negative, while 21% regarded it as positive; amongst former Tory supporters the result was 66% negative with 11% positive.
Asked a question about the inflow of people coming to live in the UK, 61% wanted to see a reduction compared to 6% who favoured an increase. For those intending to vote Conservative 73% wanted to see a reduction while only 5% wanted an increase. Even Labour and Lib Dem supporters wanted a reduction by 52% and 58% compared with 7% and 10% of those supporters who wanted an increase in immigration.
Finally, on immigration policy, those who intend to vote Conservative had very clear views. About 40% wanted a substantial reduction in net migration, 19% wanted a target of tens of thousands, while 18% wanted a commitment to stop all immigration to the UK – a total of 77%. For Labour, the equivalent figure was 56% and for the Lib Dems it was 50%.
Deltapoll interviewed 1,480 British adults online between 14th and 19th July 2022. The data have been weighted to be representative of the British adult population as a whole.