Migrationwatch are today publishing the results of two opinion poll questions enquiring about the impact of immigration in a respondent’s local area and about their reaction to it.
On the first question about impact 20% replied “a great deal” and 35% “a fair amount”. Those who replied “Not much” were 32% and “none at all” 5%. 8% did not know. These results confirm that the impact of immigration has been uneven around the country.
The second question is a repeat of one first asked by “Searchlight”, an organisation that describes itself as anti-fascist, in 2011. We asked “Would you say immigration into your local area has changed your local community for the better, the worse, or has it made no difference”?
Those who said “for the better” were 11% while those regarding the change as “for the worse” were 36%. 39% replied that immigration had made no difference and 14% did not know.
Thus, over three times as many people felt that immigration into their local area had changed their community for the worse, compared to those who thought it had changed for the better. In London, 73% felt that immigration into their local area had had a great deal or a fair amount of impact, much higher than any other region. Nevertheless, a higher proportion of people in London than anywhere else felt that immigration into their local area had both changed their community for the better and the worse, with those saying worse out numbering those who felt it had changed it for the better by just over 2 to 1.
More people feel that immigration into their local area has changed their local community for the worse rather than for the better regardless of age, gender, class and region – although it was very close in Scotland and close amongst the under 24s. Only among people who now intend to vote Liberal Democrat did slightly more feel that things have changed for the better. This group, of course, is very much smaller than those who voted Liberal Democrat in 2010.
Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK said “The results of this poll counter a general view that people views are negatively influenced by anti-immigration rhetoric although their personal local experiences are actually positive. On the evidence of this poll, the contrary is the case; many people’s views on immigration are, in fact, based on their own local experience.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,394 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd – 24th October 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).