Community, Diaspora and Immigration
IMMIGRATION: NO PARTY CAN CONTROL IT SAY VOTERS
By Macer Hall
WESTMINSTER politicians from all main parties have failed to convince voters that they can control immigration, an exclusive opinion poll for the Daily Express reveals today.
In a stark warning to Britain
In a stark warning to Britain’s political establishment, six out of 10 adults quizzed for the survey declined to back the immigration policies of the Tories, Labour or Lib Dems.
Yet a majority also insist that the incendiary issue of immigration will be “very important” or crucial to their decision on which party to vote for in this year’s general election.
In a major wake-up call, the widespread disillusionment with mainstream parties over immigration is laid bare today in an exclusive survey by opinion poll experts Opinium Research for the Daily Express.
Nearly 2,000 adults across Britain answered a series of questions about immigration in the online poll over the weekend.
The research also revealed acute concern about the impact on British society of mass immigration over the past decade. The survey of 1,960 people also found:
Sixty-nine per cent of voters felt the huge influx of newcomers into the UK over recent years has had a “negative” impact on society, putting a strain on housing, hospitals, schools and social cohesion.
Only 12 per cent of voters agreed with the Government’s claim that migrant workers should be encouraged here to boost the economy.
Nearly one in five voters (19 per cent) said immigration had already had a negative impact on their local community.
But the dissatisfaction with the policies of the mainstream political parties will cause most concern at Westminster.
The findings will be particularly worrying for David Cameron and the Tories, whose election polls lead on immigration appears to be slipping.The Opinium survey found only 18 per cent of voters supported Conservatives policies, which include an annual limit on the number of migrants allowed into Britain.
Labour immigration polices were supported by 11 per cent of voters quizzed in the survey and seven per cent backed the Lib Dems’ policies.
But 16 per cent of voters said “none of the parties” had the “best policies on the issue of immigration”. A further 10 per cent backed the immigration policies of fringe parties including the UK Independence Party, the Greens and the British National Party. A further 35 per cent did not know which party’s immigration policies were best.
It meant 61 per cent declined to back any of the three main parties over border controls.
Critics of mass immigration into the UK last night seized on the Daily Express/Opinium poll as a major wake-up call to the political establishment. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK, said: “This is a remarkable poll.
“It is further evidence that the political classes are ignoring the strongly held views of a large section of the electorate.”
Despite the poll, the Tories insisted their proposed cap on immigration and pledge of a new border police force showed they were in touch with public anger over rising levels of immigration.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “I want to see immigration limited to the level it was 20 years ago when it was in the tens of thousands and not the hundreds of thousands each year.”
The survey also dealt a devastating blow to ministerial claims that mass immigration was needed to boost the economy. Just 12 per cent of voters quizzed agreed that “Immigration should be encouraged to bolster the economy.”
The Daily Express/Opinium survey showed that 54 per cent of voters considered immigration policies “very important” or the “main issue” that would determine their vote.
More than one in six (15 per cent) said immigration had a “negative impact on access to medical/hospital care.” Other concerns included housing, education and social cohesion.