Britons are becoming more positive about immigration – but still favour reduced levels, finds an Ipsos MORI report.
Shifting Ground (pdf) is a longitudinal study that explores how public opinion towards immigration has changed.
The report draws together all seven waves of the study which has followed public opinion before and after key political events – from the 2015 General Election to the EU referendum in June 2016. It gives us a profile of the population and the wider context of values that form people’s perceptions about one of the most divisive issues of our time.
The report finds:
- People have become more positive about immigration in the last few years
- The majority of people still want immigration reduced
- Those who are most open to immigration are most stable in their views
- There are few demographic or attitudinal differences between those who have become more positive or negative about immigration
- Sovereignty and anti-immigrant feeling drove the EU referendum vote, but this is closely tied to a broader sense of distrust of the system and nostalgia
- There is not one type of Leave or Remain voter, demographically or attitudinally
- Brexit has revealed new political fault lines – but other traditional party political divides remain
- The “system is broken” for a large majority of people, but it is when this sentiment is combined with a sense of personal threat that it affects behaviour