Which party does the public trust the most to control immigration? ComRes/ITV News have released a new poll revealing it's not the Conservatives — unsurprisingly given today's figures. 36 per cent trust Ukip the most to tackle immigration, compared to 19 per cent for the Tories:
The poll also reveals that over half of the public think the impact of immigration on the NHS has been bad. As the chart below shows, perceptions on immigration are mixed. Just over half also think it has had no impact on ‘me personally' while more than people than not think immigration has had a bad impact on British culture and society and the economy — the latter is certainly not true as Fraser explains here. The only area where a majority think immigration has had a good impact is on British sport.
Given the government's failed targets and the negative feelings seen in this poll, Ukip is revelling in today’s news. Their ‘migration spokesman’ Steven Woolfe MEP said in a statement that the coalition should be ‘ashamed of’ the ‘abject failure’ of its immigration policy. Yet he is promising that Ukip would attempt a similar policy, putting a cap on the numbers arriving:
‘We will set a cap on the number of people permitted to work and reside in the UK by introducing a fairer, and more transparent points based system ensuring we get the skilled immigrants we need and in numbers that the economy can manage.’
It’s undeniable now that such a policy can only work if Britain has a radically different relationship with the EU or decides to go it alone. Conservatives may hope for the former but for now, Ukip's idea is the most appealing to those who want tighter border controls. Until the Tories reveal a renegotiation strategy that is plausible and realistic, Ukip will remain the only party who can say they will have control over the levels of people coming in and out of Britain.
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