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Immigration Poll

Published:3 November 2007
Fieldwork:31 October - 1 November 2007
Source:The Sun / Social Research Institute
Keywords:Certain to vote, Immigration, Voting intention
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

Ipsos MORI's recent poll for the Sun, conducted by telephone on 31st October and 1st November, shows a mixed picture of attitudes towards immigration in Britain. More people now agree that immigration is good for Britain (from 43% last year to 48% now), and fewer people disagree with this statement (45% last year and 36% now). Almost half (45%) think that immigrants work harder than people who are born here.

The proportion of people who think immigrants are having a good influence on the way things are going in Britain has dropped by 9 points (from 43% last year to 34% now), and the proportion who feel they are having a bad influence has increased by four points. Almost a quarter (24%) think immigrants are more likely to be involved in criminal activity than people born here, although 62% think there isn't much difference. A third of people (34%) agree that they are unwilling to say what they really think about immigration in case they are seen as racist, although more than half (59%) disagree.

Eight in ten people disagree that the government is 'open and honest' about the scale of immigration into Britain. Three quarters (77%) say they are not confident that public services like education and healthcare in their local area will be able to cope with an increasing population, and more than eight in ten (82%) are not confident that public services in Britain as a whole will be able to cope.

Topline Results

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,013 adults in Great Britain aged 18+.
  • Interviews were conducted by telephone on 31st October and 1st November 2007.
  • Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
  • Download the data tabulations pdf, 274KB

Voting — all absolutely certain to vote

Q1 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?

(If undecided or refused at Q1)

Q2 Which party are you most inclined to support?

Base: All 'absolutely certain to vote' (577)

  %
Conservative 40
Labour 35
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 13
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 4
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 2
Other 4
 
Lab lead (±%) -5
 
Would not vote *
Undecided 5
Refused 2

Voting — all

Q1 How would you vote if there were a General Election tomorrow?

(If undecided or refused at Q1)

Q2 Which party are you most inclined to support?

Base: All naming a party (1,013)

  %
Conservative 36
Labour 38
Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) 14
Scottish/Welsh Nationalist 4
Green Party 2
UK Independence Party 1
Other 5
 
Lab lead (±%) +2
 
Would not vote 11
Undecided 8
Refused 2

Q3 And how likely would you be to vote in an immediate General Election, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means you would be absolutely certain to vote, and 1 means that you would be absolutely certain not to vote?
Base: 1,013 British adults 18+

  %
10 — absolutely certain to vote 55
9 4
8 9
7 7
6 2
5 7
4 1
3 3
2 1
1 — absolutely certain not to vote 9
Don't know 1
Refused *

Q4 Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the way the government is dealing with immigration and asylum?

  %
Very satisfied 3
Fairly satisfied 12
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 12
Fairly dissatisfied 28
Very dissatisfied 44
 
Total satisfied 15
Total dissatisfied 72
Net satisfied -57

Q5 Which of these statements comes closest to your views on laws about immigration in Britain?

  Jan '03* Apr '05 Aug '06 Oct '07 Change from Aug '06
  % % % % ±%
Laws on immigration should be abolished, so anyone can come live in Britain 2 2 1 2 +1
Laws on immigration should be relaxed 4 8 5 5 0
Laws on immigration should remain as they are 12 19 17 13 -4
Laws on immigration should be much tougher 67 58 63 64 +1
Immigration should be stopped altogether 13 11 12 12 0
Don't know 3 2 2 3 +1

*face-to-face survey

Q6 There are different opinions about immigrants from other countries living in Britain. By immigrants we mean people who come to live in Britain. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

"Immigration is generally good for Britain"

  August '06 October '07 Change from Aug '06
  % % ±%
Strongly agree 14 16 +2
Tend to agree 29 32 +3
Neither agree nor disagree 10 13 +3
Tend to disagree 15 16 +1
Strongly disagree 30 20 -10
Don't know 2 2 0
 
Total agree 43 48 +5
Total disagree 45 36 -9
Net agree -2 +12 +14

Q7 There are different opinions about immigrants from other countries living in Britain. By immigrants we mean people who come to live in Britain. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

"There are too many immigrants in Britain"

  Strongly agree Tend to agree Neither nor Tend to disagree Strongly disagree Don't know Total agree Total disagree
  % % % % % % % %
1989 37 26 18 10 8 1 63 18
1994 24 40 - 24 9 3 64 33
1997 25 36 - 24 11 4 61 35
1999 22 33 - 22 11 13 55 33
2000 35 31 13 11 6 3 66 17
2001 33 21 10 20 11 5 54 31
February 2007* 39 29 15 9 4 3 68 13
November 2007 41 27 8 14 8 2 68 22
Change from Feb '07 +2 -2 -7 +5 +4 -1 0 +9

*face-to-face survey

Q8 Overall, would you say immigrants are having a good or bad influence on the way things are going in Great Britain? Would you say very or fairly? ("Immigrants refers to both illegal and legal immigrants, from the EU or somewhere else".)

  May '06 Oct '07 Change from May '06
  % % ±%
Very good 7 6 -1
Fairly good 36 28 -8
Fairly bad 26 33 +7
Very bad 22 19 -3
Don't know 9 15 +6
Good 43 34 -9
Bad 48 52 +4
Net good -5 -18 -13

Q9 Thinking about the neighbourhood where you live, do you think recent immigrants have done more to improve your neighbourhood, create problems for your neighbourhood, or haven't they had much effect either way? ("Immigrants refers to both illegal and legal immigrants, from the EU or somewhere else")

  May '06 Oct '07 Change from May '06
  % % ±%
More to improve 7 5 -2
More to create problems 13 15 +2
Not much effect either way 63 69 +6
No recent immigrants in neighbourhood 15 8 -7
Don't know 2 2 0

Q10 Generally, do you think immigrants are more likely to be involved in criminal activity than people born here, less likely, or isn't there much difference? ("Immigrants refers to both illegal and legal immigrants, from the EU or somewhere else")

  May '06 Oct '07 Change from May '06
  % % ±%
More likely 25 24 -1
Less likely 9 8 -1
Not much difference 62 62 0
Don't know 3 5 +2

Q11 Generally, do you think immigrants work harder than people born here, not as hard, or isn't there much difference? ("Immigrants refers to both illegal and legal immigrants, from the EU or somewhere else")

  May '06 Oct '07 Change from May '06
  % % ±%
Harder 40 45 +5
Not as hard 11 8 -3
Not much difference 44 41 -3
Don't know 5 6 +1

Q12-13 I am going to read out some statements about British society and social issues. For each one, please could you tell me the extent to which you agree or disagree?

  1. The government is open and honest about the scale of immigration into Britain
  2. I am unwilling to say what I really think about immigration in case I am seen as racist
  Q12 Q13
  % %
Strongly agree 3 20
Tend to agree 11 14
Neither nor 3 5
Tend to disagree 29 20
Strongly disagree 51 39
Don't know 2 2
Total agree 14 34
Total disagree 80 59

Q14 The Office of National Statistics has predicted that the overall population of the UK will rise by 4.4 million people to a total of 65 million in the next eight years. They estimate that 2.1 million of this overall rise can be put down to immigration. This rate of growth is higher than it has been in past years.

  1. How confident, if at all, are you that public services like education and healthcare in your local area will be able to cope with this increasing population?
  2. How confident, if at all, are you that public services like education and healthcare in Britain will be able to cope with this increasing population?
  Q14a Q14b
  % %
Base 503 510
Very confident 5 4
Fairly confident 15 11
Not very confident 34 33
Not at all confident 43 49
Don't know 3 3
Total confident 20 15
Total not confident 77 82
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