Poll reveals what people really think about immigration and whether it’s good or bad for the UK


More people in the UK think immigration has a negative impact on society compared to a positive one, according to a new survey carried out by YouGov exclusively for Sky News. 

Across the UK, 43% of people asked thought that immigration has a negative impact on British society, compared to 35% who said it has a positive impact.

While the results varied according to location, only in London and in Scotland were people more likely to say that immigration has a positive impact.

And there were clear divides between age groups: 54% of 18 to 24-year-olds think immigration has a positive effect. But among those aged 65 and up, 58% think the impact of immigration on society is negative.

There was a more mixed view on the economic benefits of immigration, with the results pretty even: 39% of respondents thought immigration has a positive impact on the economy, with 37% saying the impact was negative.

But the poll identified a clear gender split, with only 34% of women saying that immigration has had a positive economic impact, compared with 43% of men.

Respondents also thought that cutting immigration would have a negative impact on the NHS, hospitality, universities and social care, but a positive effect on housing.

The survey also revealed deep political distrust among the public, with 52% saying they think Labour are not telling the truth about what they think on immigration, and 49% saying the same thing about the Conservatives. Every region and demographic distrusted the main two parties on this point.

And people by a large margin believed that governments – from whatever party – could cut immigration if they really wanted but that it would have negative consequences they don’t want to face.

Reform UK is the only party people think are telling the truth on immigration: 60% agreed that the party was saying what it genuinely thought.

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Nor do people trust the main two parties to follow through on their promises. People thought that immigration would increase under both a Labour and a Conservative government – despite believing that their policies aim to reduce it.

People overwhelmingly think war, poverty and gangs are mainly responsible for increases in immigration – compared to just 1% who think climate change is the main cause, or 4% who think Brexit is.

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