Big shift in British public opinion in favour of immigration

Continuing a theme of previous research over the last few years, data highlighted by Bobby Duffy of Ipsos MORI shows a continuing trend in British public opinion in favour of immigration.

By 48%-26% people now see immigration as a positive, with that 26% down from 64% in 2011:

Ipsos MORI data on attitudes towards immigration in Britain

Incredible shift in immigration attitudes in IpsosMORI trend surveys: 64% were negative about immigration in 2011, now down to 26%. We were among most negative countries, now among most positive. – Bobby Duffy on Twitter

This  adds to data showing the public becoming much more positive about the impact of immigration, falling support for negative views about immigration and continuing evidence that immigration brings many net benefits to the UK.

5 responses to “Big shift in British public opinion in favour of immigration”

  1. I do think that immigration was the single biggest reason (there were others, of course) why the leave vote won, and will be the reason they could win again if we have a 2nd referendum. Unless we can win the argument regarding freedom of movement, all the logical economic facts and benefits regarding trade by remaining part of the EU may not be enough to avoid the leavers winning again. We need a war chest of facts and figures and reasoned arguments to fight our remain corner, otherwise Nigel will be back to inflict his poison on us once again, and I don’t think we will be able to stop him!

  2. But, Matthew, the good news is that, as the graph shows, there has been a big shift in opinion since the Referendum was held two and a half years ago, ie positive views of immigration are UP from 35% to 48%, since June 2016, while negative views are DOWN from 39% to 26% in the same time period, ie a net change from MINUS 4% view on immigration being negative, to a staggering PLUS 22% view on immigration being positive.

    Certainly reasons to be cheerful ! And, hopefully a game changer if (or when) it comes to a further referendum.

  3. I agree with Matthew that immigration (confused with the presence of different people with dark skins or speaking funny foreign languages) was a big factor in the Leave vote because together with Labour’s mixed messages and justified grievances with quite different causes, it swung a lot of votes in the urban North and Midlands. What should have happened, given what this article shows about the shift in opnion about immigration, was that positive views about it should have pushed up the Remain vote. But the official Remain campaign ran scared of passion and the deeper issues and ours wasn’t vastly better.

    What really interests me in this data is that the shift has been steady since 2011. It has not been, as I guessed, accelerated much by realisation that a hard Brexit means severe shortages of nurses, doctors, care workers and agricultural workers.

  4. About 12 years ago, I travelled by train from Paris to Switzerland to attend a working party of professionals from EU countries, Norway and Switzerland. I was surprised to find that I had left the train and walked out of the station without showing my British passport or any other form of ID.
    I mentioned to a Swiss citizen attending the same meeting that I was surprised by the lack of identity checks as the UK was increasingly paranoid about illegal immigrants. My Swiss contact replied that the Swiss birthrate was insufficient and the country relied on a steady supply of immigrants to provide employees to work in hospitals, care homes, manufacturing and service industries. Without new labour, the Swiss economy would decline and he could not understand how other countries, GB included, could have healthy economies without a constant supply of immigrant labour to contribute to the GNP.
    Perhaps this explains the recent failure of the British economy to keep up with its international competitors and the perception of many Brits, myself included, that Brexit, and especially Theresa May’s intended interpretation of Brexit policy, constitute a national suicide note.

  5. The population of the UK is rising by about 0.5% annually due to immigration both current and recent. Every year more and more countryside is consumed, every year we need extra housing equivalent to a medium sized city. Every year we become more dependant on food imports just as climate change threatens world food supplies. Every year the pressure on public services (schools and hospitals etc) increases. Immigrants don’t necessarily agree with the Liberal values of most of this party’s members, many from Africa and the Middle East have views ranging from conservative to ultra-conservative. The population is growing just as there seems to be increasing concern with massive job-losses due to AI and automation. More people and fewer jobs does not seem like a good formula. This party does not properly debate the issues that the activists are most keen on, it just blindly presses on regardless.

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