Major poll finds Britons at odds on immigration


8:30 am - December 19th 2011

by Newswire    


      Share on Tumblr

The fourth annual Transatlantic Trends: Immigration survey, out last week, showed that global economic turmoil and migration following the “Arab Spring,” had little impact on attitudes to immigration in the US and five European countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

New global poll identifies British attitudes towards immigration:
· Coalition Government’s handling of immigration considered poor
· Only a minority concerned about legal migration
· UK immigrant population overestimated
· Migrants fleeing armed conflict, natural disasters, persecution should be admitted
· Immigrants are entrepreneurial and plug labour market gaps
· Children of immigrants are well integrated

According to the survey, British people continue to view immigration as more of a problem than an opportunity (68%), with 57% of respondents stating that they think there are currently too many immigrants in the country.

This figure has, however, remained stable since 2008 in the UK as well as elsewhere in Europe.

Most also maintain a negative view of government management of immigration, with 68% of Europeans and 73% Americans believing that their government is doing a poor or very poor job.

Most American (56%) and Europeans (52%) remain optimistic about immigrant integration, and 66% of British people are positive about how well the children of immigrants are integrating.

Majorities in the UK, Europe and the U.S. are interested in letting in more highly educated immigrants. Amongst European respondents, the British are most likely to agree that immigrants help create jobs and set up new businesses (54%).

Despite 58% believing that immigrants take jobs from native workers, a large majority (69%) think immigrants help fill jobs when there are shortages. A majority (56%) supported highly educated migrants being allowed to come to the UK.

Following the Arab Spring, 40% of Britons surveyed support opening the British labour market to residents of newly democratic states in North Africa and the Middle East.

Strong support was also found amongst Britons polled for admitting migrants fleeing armed conflict (73%), natural disasters (70%) and persecution (65%). Surprisingly, half of British people would accept migrants fleeing poverty.

The survey is a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy), and the Barrow Cadbury Trust (U.K.), with additional support from the Fundación BBVA (Spain).

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author

· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


The support levels for a sane and humane immigration policy in those polls are far higher than I would have expected given the relentless media misrepresentation of the issue. They also demonstrate that an arms race on who can be tougher on immigration isn’t the vote winner blairites think it will be, and there is far higher levels of public support for reversing some of the draconnian legislation that was passed.

All good stuff. But I wish they wouldn’t say “British/Britons”. Do a survey of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland. Then post the results for each country. I think they would vary widely…

Yes, but you’d also then have to clarrify within the poll whether by ‘immigrants’ you include english people moving into Wales or Scotland or vice versa. Which would add another dimension to the result.

Is there a link to the actual survey?

Hello Liberal Conspiracy, my name is you. Liberal Conspiracy, now go with United States and China and go to New Zealand to ask about we don’t get the 6 Country rates dollar up: New Zealand, Australia, Oceania, Singapore, Malaysia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and we want have a biggest fight to get all the money out from 6 Country: New Zealand, Australia, Oceania, Singapore, Malaysia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations to Both Country United States and China.

Liberal Conspiracy, we go to Beijing Government to ask them about we stop the 8 Country rates dollars up: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Western Asia, and then United States, China, Europe and Japan have a biggest fight to get all the money out from 10 and all Country: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, Central Asia, Africa and more Country into 4 Country: United States, China, Europe and Japan. So now Liberal Conspiracy, you can tell New York Government.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Major poll finds Britons conflicted on… http://t.co/E7iYpjOM

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/6qJgVwq0

  3. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/eS1aoTkQ

  4. Democratic Society

    "@libcon: Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/Qr1rA5yo&quot; < and indeed everything. They contain multitudes.

  5. Sunder Katwala

    Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/6qJgVwq0

  6. Andrew Ducker

    Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/QRC2Gv1e

  7. RobSimmons

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  8. Hussain Cheema

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  9. Champollion

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  10. Zack Wilson

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  11. Linda Jack

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  12. Joe Oliver

    RT @sunny_hundal: Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tkITPArQ

  13. Adrian Trett

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  14. Gerard Zouein

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  15. Owen Blacker

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  16. Carol Clarke

    Major poll on immigration finds Britons a lot more nuanced and conflicted than right-wingers pretend http://t.co/tgeyLNpU

  17. UK Immigrant Magazin

    #UK : Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/eS1aoTkQ

  18. TheCreativeCrip

    RT @libcon: Major poll finds Britons conflicted on immigration http://t.co/rYTwQdbf << don't need a poll to know that …





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.