In February 2014, the Migration Observatory published a report on Immigration and Independence: Public Opinion on Immigration in Scotland in the Context of the Referendum Debate.
This report is the first major systematic analysis focusing specifically on Scottish public opinion about immigration to Scotland. It is the result of a survey of a representative sample of more than 2000 people in Scotland and a further 2000 people in England and Wales, who provided comparative data. The survey was undertaken online by the respected polling company YouGov in October 2013.
The report has three primary sets of findings. First, overall attitudes to immigration in Scotland are less negative than in the rest of Britain, although falling short of majority support for increasing or even keeping the the same level of immigration. Second, in Scotland as in the rest of Britain, public opinion differentiates between types of immigrants, with markedly different attitudes toward various sub-groups and categories. Third, there is a complex if not quite contradictory relationship between immigration attitudes and constitutional issues. Each of these sets of results is outlined further below.