BMG Research has undertaken exclusive polling for The i newspaper on the topic of Immigration. Key findings below.

  • Two-fifths (44%) think immigration is an important issue facing society, and 7% think it is the most important issue. This makes it the third most selected issue, albeit still some way behind the cost-of-living crisis (51%) and healthcare / the NHS (12%).
  • Immigration is the second most important issue for those who previously voted leave in 2016 (18%) and Conservative in 2019 (17%).  
  • When presented with the latest figures on net migration, two-thirds think immigration is too high (66%), including 42% who think it is much too high. While unsurprisingly higher among the 2019 Conservative voters, net migration is still considered too high even among half (52%) of previous Labour voters.
  • Survey participants were also asked whether they thought immigration was too high without the context of the latest net migration figures, with half of participants seeing this question first. This produced similar results, with 64% saying immigration is too high, including 38% who said it is ‘much too high’.
  • Labour continues to lead the Conservatives on which party is best to handle immigration, with this month’s poll giving them a 10-point lead on the issue (29% cf. 19%).

“Latest figures from the ONS show that net migration is over 600,000. Yet even when asked about immigration levels without the figures prompted in the question, a clear majority still say numbers are too high.

Thinking about immigration as part of a broader political context and it is clear the public expects this to be addressed by the government; the only issues considered more important are the cost-of-living crisis and the NHS.

Sunak’s core vote cares more about this issue and, worryingly for the Prime Minister, his party trail Labour on who is best to handle it, despite the prominence of their so-called stop the boats policy.

Viewed from the context of 13 years of Conservative governments and the removal of freedom of movement as a result of leaving the EU’s single market, higher immigration figures are likely to damage trust in his leadership and his party’s brand.”

Share this article: