Poll reveals mixed attitudes towards UK immigration

A recent YouGov poll highlights that British citizens hold mixed opinions regarding immigration.

The poll found that 63 per cent of people think that current levels of immigration in the UK are ‘too high’, compared to just 22 per cent who think it’s ‘about right’. What’s more, 32 per cent of those polled felt immigration has been mostly bad for the UK in the past decade, while only 24 per cent felt it had been mostly good.

However, while on the face of it this would suggest that the majority of Brits feel quite negatively towards immigration, a closer look at the figures reveals that this is not necessarily the case.

Brits are largely supportive of people with high levels of education and skills. Over 70 per cent of respondents were happy with either the same or increased levels of skilled immigration – while just 17 per cent thought there should either be fewer skilled immigrants, or none. In contrast, 57 per cent of those polled had negative attitudes towards low skilled immigrants. Over half either wanted to see either less low-skilled immigrants or felt low-skilled immigration shouldn’t be allowed at all.

There were high levels of support for immigrants who arrive in the UK to work in the NHS, while attitudes towards overseas students was also largely positive.

The poll found that 38 per cent of people said that they would like to see more people coming into the UK to work within the NHS, while a further 38 per cent were happy with the current level.

Meanwhile, 73 per cent of people said they were happy with existing numbers of foreign students paying to study at British universities – or thought we should allow more.

However, views on refugees entering the UK or family members of immigrants already living in Britain moving to join them were not so positive.

Although 33 per cent of Brits were happy with the current level of refugees, and 24 per cent thought we should allow more, almost a third of the public thought that there should be fewer immigrants of this type, or none at all.

The poll also revealed that 29 per cent felt that there should be less family-based immigration, while 13 per cent thought that it shouldn’t be allowed at all.

Article published 8th May 2018