There is a wide divergence between how many foreign-born people are living and working in the UK and the proportion that people believe there are, according to a poll of political supporters ahead of the General Election.
Supporters of the anti-immigration UK Independence Party (Ukip) believe there is double the actual number of foreign-born people living in Britain than is the case, the new report has revealed.
People planning to vote Ukip said they thought around 25 per cent of the UK’s population was born abroad when the real figure is around 13 per cent. Their over estimate was furthest away from the true figure of all those quizzed for the report.
The research by pollsters Ipsos MORI asked the same question of people who had declared their voting intentions for each of the main political parties. It found that supporters of every party actually over-estimated the number of people living in Britain who were not born here, while none of them believed the figure to be lower than it is.
The highest over-estimate was by Ukip voters, followed by Conservatives supporters who believed the figure to be around 21 per cent. Both Labour and the SNP’s supporters guessed the proportion at 20 per cent and the Green Party and Liberal Democrat supporters guessed 16 per cent –the nearest to the true figure.
The findings come after another poll published in February found that around half of Ukip supporters said they were happy to describe themselves as “prejudiced against people from other races” to a certain extent.