New immigration polls find nearly 80% of the British public, even in his own constituency, think the Home Secretary is ‘out of touch’

70% of Labour voters in Britain want a sharp cut in immigration
78% of voters in Alan John

July 23, 2009

New opinion polls, published today, show the Home Secretary is clearly out of touch with the public. Last week Alan Johnson told a House of Commons Committee that ‘he does not lie awake at night’ worrying that the population of the UK will reach 70 million and that he would not put a cap on the number of immigrants settling in the UK.

A YouGov opinion poll, conducted shortly afterwards for think tank Migrationwatch, shows that his views are completely at odds with the vast majority of the population:

- 81% are worried (45% of which are ‘very worried’) about the prospect of a population of 70 million in 2028. - 78% say that Alan Johnson is out of touch with people like them.
- 76% want to see net immigration cut from its present level of 237,000 a year to 50,000 or less a year. Of that 76%, 32% want to see a policy of “one in, one out” while 22% want to see no immigration at all.

The party affiliations are also of interest:

- 90% of Conservative voters are worried (55% very worried) about a population of 70 million. For Labour voters it was 70% worried (29% very worried). Lib Dems were higher at 76% (38% very worried).
- 65% of Labour voters think he is out of touch with them, as do 71% of Lib Dems and 90% of Conservatives.
- A sharp cut in immigration (to 50,000 a year or less) was supported by 85% of Conservative, 70% of Labour[1] and 65% of Lib Dem voters.

The ORB poll of voters in Alan Johnson’s own constituency found that:

- 80% of voters thought that Alan Johnson was “out of touch” on immigration
- 85% were concerned that 7 million of the 10 million increase will be as a result of immigration
- 83% want to see net immigration reduced to 50,000 a year or less
- 80% of voters thought that immigration is putting too much strain on public services.
- 78% of voters opposed his general attitude to immigration and population
- 73% are concerned that Britain is losing its own identity and culture
- 69% of voters were concerned that, over the next 20 years or so, the population of the UK will rise by more than 10 million, from 61 million today to over 70 million.

Mr Johnson’s approach to immigration, and his policy, has little support among Labour voters in his constituency. Of his constituents who said that they would vote Labour at the next election:

- 63% were concerned that 7 million of the 10 million increase will be as a result of immigration
- 56% of potential Labour voters thought that Alan Johnson was “out of touch” on immigration
- 58% of potential Labour voters opposed his general attitude to immigration and population.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch said: ‘The new Home Secretary and the Prime Minister are hopelessly out of touch with the mood of the nation on this issue.

‘This is not just about a “cap” on immigration. It is about the future of our country.

‘Failure to cut immigration back to the level of the early nineties will result in our population going to 70 then 80 million and beyond as immigration is the main driver of population growth.

‘In many parts of Britain the public are seething with resentment at the total failure of the political class to take seriously their deep concerns about the impact of immigration on the future of our country,’ he said.

All figures for the national poll, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,956 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 17th July 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

All figures for the poll conducted in Alan Johnson’s constituency are from ORB. The results are from a telephone survey of 1,026 constituents living in West Hull & Hessle. Fieldwork was conducted 17th to 21st July (inc). Interviews were conducted with adults aged 18+ who confirmed that they lived in one of Hull West & Hessle’s seven wards. Data are weighted to the adult profile of Hull West & Hessle by age, gender, working status and ward.

[1] Of those intending to vote Labour, 70% wanted to see net immigration reduced below 50,000 a year, made up of 27% who wanted to see less than 50,000 a year, 29% who wished to seee ‘one in, one out’ and 14% who wanted no immigration at all. Only 7% wanted 200,000 and another 7% 300,000 or more.

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