How big an issue is immigration/race relations?

How big an issue is immigration/race relations?


The changing perceptions since Labour came to power

The Ipsos-MORI issues index for October is just out and features, as it has done every month for more than a quarter of a century, the unprompted responses of interviewees when they are asked to list what they see as “the most important issues facing Britain today?”

The chart I’ve singled out is, given the BNP and the associated publicity, is on immigration and race relations and shows how views have changed since Labour came to power in May 1997.

What’s interesting is that although we’ve just seen something of a dip the trend has been upwards. Just compare the figures from the late 1990s when for three years it didn’t not register in double digits with the concerns today.

What’s stands out also are the regional splits. The national average is 24% yet in London it only registers amongst 14% of respondees. Amongst the unemployed the figure is 15% – well below the average and less than half that of the self-employed.

The older age-groups – those of 65+ – are likely to be the most concerned while amongst the 18 – 24 year olds only 8%, one third the national average, mentioned this area.

Mike Smithson

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