Family Migration; Overwhelming Support for Reform

March 08, 2012

The public overwhelmingly support the government’s key proposals for the reform of family migration.  That was the result of an opinion poll published by Migration Watch UK today.

83% supported the suggestion that British immigration officers should interview applicants in their own country to make sure that the relationship is a genuine one.  The poll found strong support for this policy, across all three major parties voters – Conservatives 88%, Labour 81%, Lib Dem 81%.  It was also the case across social grade and region. Only 8% of British adults oppose.

Asked about raising the required level of English language so that applicants would have to show that they could understand everyday English, there was even stronger support.  93% were in favour and only 4% opposed.  Again, strong support was consistent across all three major party voters, social grade and region with 93% of Lib Dem voters from the 2010 general election in favour.

Respondents were also asked whether they favoured increasing the minimum income before a person in the UK may bring in a partner from overseas from the present level of £5,500 a year to £18,000 a year.  80% favoured this policy with 13% opposed.  Again, strong support was found consistently across all three political parties, and across social grades and regions.

The poll was based on a robust sample of over 2,000 respondents and was conducted by YouGov between 29 February and 2 March.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said, “These are stunning results. They are a huge public endorsement of the proposals that the government has put forward”.

Notes to Editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,287 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th February - 2nd March 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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