Red Wall Constituents Oppose Government’s Immigration Proposals


Current Affairs, Employment, Migration Trends, Population, Visas/Work Permits

Migration Watch UK have today published the results of an opinion poll focused on the Red Wall constituencies on which the government’s majority in the House of Commons depends. 

The poll was conducted in 70 selected constituencies ranging from North Wales across to the North East of England and was carried out by Deltapoll in the first week of August.

The clear message to the government from the Deltapoll respondents was:

  • ‘We want strict controls on immigration by non-UK workers’ (72% agreed, including 83% of 2019 Conservative voters
  •  ‘We want a cap on the number of non-UK workers that employers can bring into the UK each year’ (55% of voters oppose a plan to remove the cap, including 68% of 2019 Conservative voters)
  • ‘We want companies to be required to advertise jobs locally before filling them with an overseas recruit’ (78% of voters support this, including 87% of 2019 Conservative voters).

Respondents rejected three key elements of the government’s proposals for work migration by at least two to one.

– In the light of economic forecasts pointing to a significant increase in unemployment later in the year, opinion was strongly in favour of a strict approach to immigration by non-UK workers. 72% favoured strict control (of which 43% chose very strict) compared to 18% in favour of controls that were not strict.

– Respondents were also asked whether they supported the idea of a cap on the number of non-UK workers that employers can bring into the UK each year – a cap which the government intend to “suspend”. Here again, opinion was clear. 55% were opposed to scrapping the cap, 25% supported it and 16% neither supported nor opposed.

– There was an even stronger response to the idea that companies might no longer need to advertise jobs locally before filling them with an overseas recruit. 78% supported a continuation of the rule that companies must advertise domestically first. Only 6% were opposed and 13% were neither supportive nor opposed.

– And asked about government plans to introduce a new system for immigrant workers from all over the world at lower skills and lower salaries, 48% were opposed, 23% supported and 22% neither supported nor opposed.

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

“This poll is a wake-up call for the government. They cannot ignore such a clear rejection of key parts of their immigration plans by a majority of ‘Red Wall’ voters. They must now devise an immigration system that both delivers on their promises and takes full account of the high unemployment, post-Covid, world.”

Note to Editors: 

Another Deltapoll conducted late last year found that nearly three-quarters of a public (71%) backed an Australian-style cap on work visas after Brexit, including 86% of Conservative voters.

See a summary of the August 2020 Deltapoll findings below:

Question 1: ‘You may have seen or heard that some economic forecasts suggest that there could be up to four million unemployed workers in Britain by the end of this year, although some others are slightly more optimistic. In view of this how strict do you think limits should be on the number of foreign workers granted work permits to work in the UK?’

Very strict: 43%

Quite strict: 29%

Total strict – 72%

Not very strict: 15%

Not strict at all: 2%

Total not strict – 18%

Don’t know: 11%

Question 2: ‘As you may know, in January 2021 the government plans to introduce a new system for all immigrant workers. As part of this, they will allow employers to bring in workers from all over the world at lower levels of skills and lower salaries than now. To what extent do you support or oppose this proposal?’

Support: 23%

Neither support nor oppose: 22%

Oppose: 48%

Don’t know: 7%

Question 3: ‘For nearly ten years there has been a limit (a cap) on the number of foreign workers that employers can bring into the UK each year. The government say that they will “suspend” this cap, meaning that there will be no limit on the numbers coming here in the future.To what extent do you support or oppose this proposal?’ 

Support: 25%

Neither support nor oppose: 16%

Oppose: 55%

Don’t know: 4%

Question 4: ‘The government has said that, as of next January, there will be a lower salary requirement for foreign workers if they are under 26 years old when they arrive. This salary would be just above the UK living wage. To what extent do you support or oppose this proposal?’ 

Support: 29%

Neither support nor oppose: 34%

Oppose: 30%

Don’t know: 7%

Question 5: Currently our immigration system includes a rule that UK companies must advertise jobs to local applicants before they can fill the job with an overseas recruit. To what extent do you support or oppose this rule?‘

Support: 78%

Neither support nor oppose: 13%

Oppose: 6%

Don’t know: 3%

7th September 2020

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