Study reveals gaps in UK immigration support

02 Dec 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A recent study has revealed that there are substantial gaps in the level of support for UK immigration around the country.

Conducted by the Oxford University Migration Observatory in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, the paper found that most areas of the country have a majority support for cuts to UK immigration.

However, the level of support was shown to vary depending on the geographical location. For example, London – which has the highest migrant population and the highest population density in the UK – does not have a clear majority in favour of UK immigration cuts, with just 46 per cent of survey respondents agreeing that immigration needs to be reduced.

While it may be tempting to jump to the conclusion that this is due to the capital's high migrant population, the survey also found that Londoners who identify themselves as white British-born, British nationals were less likely than their counterparts elsewhere in the country to support the cuts.

Scotland also had a lower level of support for government reductions to UK immigration than most other areas, while the Midlands and Wales were found to have some of the highest levels of support.

Dr Scott Blinder, public opinion specialist at the Migration Observatory and the man who designed the research, commented: “If the government does manage to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ does that mean that support for cuts to immigration will fall correspondingly?

“The evidence collected since the 1990s only deals with periods of long-term increases in net migration, so it is hard to say for sure – but our research suggests it is far from certain.”