To monitor how public opinion changes over time, Ipsos MORI is conducting a survey to examine people's attitude to immigration throughout and after the election campaign. The aim is to find out how and why people’s views change. Here are six key findings from interviews with the latest group of over 3700 respondents:
1. Only a minority of 15% of the public think the party they support completely reflects their views on immigration. But this figure varies between parties, with UKIP supporters the most optimistic.
2. The reasons why the public think the parties don't reflect their views vary greatly: 61% of Conservative supporters think their policies are not strong enough. The issue for more than half of Labour (52%) supporters is that they are not clear what the Labour policies are. Hardly any supporters of each party think their parties' policies are too tough. Perhaps surprisingly among the half of UKIP supporters who say UKIP policies don’t completely reflect their views, 35% say they’re not clear what they are, and half don’t think they are strong enough.
3. 60% of the public believe that David Cameron should not have set targets on net migration figures. Breaking it down along party lines, this is the view of 75% of Labour voters, 68% of UKIP voters, and 66% of Lib Dem voters. Only 51% of Conservative supporters defend the Prime Minister’s target.
4. Nearly half of the public (49%) want to have total control of who comes into Britain even if it means leaving the EU, while 38% opposed this. Most UKIP(92%) voters support the idea of complete control of borders while most Lib Dem (64%) voters take the opposite view.
5. Half (51%) of the public disagree that UKIP is the only party with a credible plan for reducing immigration, with 25% strongly disagreeing) and 29% agreeing
6. The number of people who think that immigration has been discussed too much is down since the election campaign started. The figure is now 22% down from 27% when respondents were asked a similar question in late February/early March. There is a big difference between voters of the different parties in their views, though: 68% of UKIP voters believe it has been discussed too little, followed by 42% of Conservatives. Only 23% of people remember seeing any media coverage or political statements on immigration during the campaign.
“We will conduct one more wave of our longitudinal study before the election, and a further wave after the election, to help provide some insight into how public opinion has changed, and where it could go next” Bobby Duffy, MD of Ipsos Social Research Institute said.