A new Ipsos MORI poll of British adults for Channel 4 reveals that two in five people (38%) cannot correctly say what date St George’s Day is celebrated in England, while 62% answered correctly. The survey commissioned by Channel 4 to coincide with a new documentary series exploring Britishness, “Make Bradford British”, asked three questions based on those in the Life in the UK test (required for settlement in the UK and British citizenship). Half (49%) of Britons aged 18-34 got it right while around two-thirds of those aged 35+ were correct.
Only 20% knew how many elected members the UK has in the European Parliament. And 28% correctly answered that two-thirds of people in the UK own their own homes. Only 30% answered two or more questions correctly (just 4% got all three right). Half (48%) answered one question correctly and around a quarter (23%) failed to answer any questions correctly.
The Ipsos MORI poll for Channel 4 also found that seven in ten Britons (70%) think there are too many immigrants, although less than half (43%) say they would rather live in an area where most people are from the same ethnic background as them. The poll reveals a divided public with around half (49%) saying immigration increases crime rates in Britain, while 47% disagree. This represents a shift in opinion from four years ago when, in 2008, 53% agreed that immigration increases crimes rates in Britain and only 33% disagreed.
Britons mix more frequently with people of a different generation than of a different ethnic background, sexuality or religious belief. Four in ten (41%) mix socially with people of a different generation on a daily basis, three in ten (29%) do the same with people from a different ethnic background. Younger Britons (aged 15-34) are more likely than those aged 35+ to mix daily with people that are different to them in sexuality, age, religious belief or ethnic background.
Six in ten Britons (59%) feel the biggest barrier to being British is ‘not speaking English’ - far ahead of anything else. Being born outside the UK (26%) and not mixing with other groups (25%) are the other most commonly named barriers. One in ten people (9%) feel that being from an ethnic minority stops people being fully British, a similar proportion (11%) feel that having foreign born parents is a barrier to being British.
The Channel 4/Ipsos MORI poll shows that over half of Britons (54%) say they are sometimes confused about which words are acceptable to use when describing people from ethnic minorities.
Make Bradford British starts on Thursday 1 March at 9pm on Channel 4
Ipsos MORI interviewed a nationally representative quota sample of 998 adults aged 15 and over across the Great Britain, interviews were conducted face-to-face between 27 January – 5 February 2012. Results have been weighted to the known GB adult population profile.