Survey reveals 66% of people say Sunak is failing to get a grip on immigration

Rishi Sunak is failing to get a grip on immigration, according to a new survey.

Public dissatisfaction is at its highest level since before the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of people say the government isn’t doing enough to tackle the issue, the Immigration Attitudes Tracker survey revealed.

The level is the highest it has been since 2015 when the survey began, and the latest figure is up from a low of 41 percent in 2020.

The dissatisfaction is on both sides of the political divide but for different reasons, the research by Ipsos and think tank British Future showed.

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Among Conservative supporters, 56 percent are dissatisfied while just over a fifth (22 percent) said they are satisfied with the Government’s handling of the issue.

Most of these (82 percent) said the PM is “not doing enough” to stop migrant channel crossings.

More than 23,000 migrant crossings have been made so far in 2023.

Mr Sunak has repeatedly defended his “stop the boats” plan and insisted the Government is making progress and its efforts are “working”.

Among dissatisfied Labour supporters surveyed in the British Future research, fewer people (46 per cent) pointed to stopping Channel crossings as a main reason.

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The survey of 3,000 adults online in July and August suggested that 48 percent of the public now supports reducing immigration – an increase from 42 percent last year.

There are more divisions along party lines on this issue, with more than two-thirds of Conservative supporters (67 percent) now favouring reducing migration, while 38 percent of Labour supporters favour reductions.

More than half (56 percent) of Labour supporters said immigration numbers should either rise or stay the same.

More people (43 percent) think immigration has had a positive impact on Britain than the 37 percent who feel its effect has been negative, the research showed.

But negativity has increased by eight percentage points from 29 percent since 2022, those behind the survey added.
Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, said: “The Government’s approach to immigration, particularly asylum and small boats, is disappointing everyone – but for different reasons.

“Liberals think it is inhumane, while hardliners think it isn’t achieving what has been promised. What they all have in common is the feeling that the Government isn’t doing a good job.

“Attitudes to immigration are nuanced but the sharp divide along party political lines means we should expect a noisier, more heated immigration debate as Britain heads towards a general election.

“But politicians won’t rebuild public trust by raising the volume of the debate – that will take workable solutions, particularly on asylum, that balance control and compassion.”

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “There is no simple answer to meeting voters’ demands on this issue, as views are split and often nuanced.

“For example, Britons also continue to support migration for specific sectors of work (especially health and social care), while control over who comes in is often as if not more important as the total numbers.

“But with an election on the horizon and attention on the issue of immigration and asylum unlikely to go away, there isn’t much trust in either of the main parties to get the balance right.”

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