UKIP have a responsibility to present the truth alongside their policies

Ipsos Mori poll shows UKIP supporters think the UK has twice as many immigrants as it actually does



According to an Ipsos Mori survey released this week, UKIP supporters believe there are twice as many foreign-born people living in the UK than there actually are. UKIP supporters polled estimated that 25 per cent of the population is made up of foreign-born immigrants.

What is interesting is that Ipsos Mori say that throughout most of the previous decade, their analytical models showed that where people lived was one of the best indicators of how they felt about immigration. Now, they say, this has ‘changed markedly’, with political allegiance now being the most significant predictor of a person’s attitude to immigration.

It means that UKIP are managing to convince people that the ‘tidal flood’ of immigration is a reality, wherever they live and whatever their own observations may be. This is partly through gross exaggeration; Nigel Farage famously predicted that after visa restrictions were lifted, 5,000 Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants would be arriving in the UK ‘each week, every week’ for several years.

In fact, the numbers did not increase significantly; the Oxford University-based Migration Observatory says that:

“The number of migrants from the A2 countries [Romania and Bulgaria] living in the UK appears to have continued to grow steadily since these countries joined the EU.

“This continued in 2014 but not dramatically: most of the growth in the A2 population took place in the seven years before transitional labour market controls were lifted. “

Between 2013 and 2014 the UK’s Romanian and Bulgarian population increased by 47,000 to 252,000. But it also grew by 163,000 between 2007 and 2013, whilst the transitional controls were in place. An increase, yes; not a ‘flood’ by any means.

Analysis of ONS statistics shows that people from Romania and Bulgaria – on which the exaggeration has focused – made up six per cent of total migration to the UK.

Plus, Nigel Farage is a convincing speaker – the only member of the party who should ever be allowed to speak publicly, judging on recent performances. When he says things like this:

“In scores of our cities and market towns, this country in a short space of time has frankly become unrecognisable[….] Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more. This is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren”

– people listen. It is so vague – ‘many parts of England’ – that is hard to disprove. Recent research by the ONS showed that support for UKIP tends to be strongest in areas where there is low immigration – this may be partly explained by a Migration Observatory poll showing that people with anti-immigration views were likely to exempt immigrants in their own neighbourhoods from criticism.

Responding to the 2008-9 citizenship survey, 54 per cent of respondents living in London -where immigration is most heavily concentrated – said immigrants were positive for the economy, compared to 28 per cent elsewhere in Britain.

This suggests that for many people, UKIP speak to a fear of the future rather than present circumstance. This is not to discount the experiences of those UKIP supporters who do live in diverse neighbourhoods; but UKIP has exploited those experiences and sold them to people who have less contact with immigrants.

Which is why the findings of this latest poll are alarming. They show that people are subscribing to UKIP’s xenophobic views based on false information, and that UKIP’s inflated claims are being digested. Remember, this is not a slight overestimation; this is a significant swathe of the population who think there are twice as many immigrants as there are.

UKIP have a responsibility to present their policies against a background of fact, not speculation.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

132 Responses to “UKIP have a responsibility to present the truth alongside their policies”

  1. Paul

    The profile of UKIP members is changing; Ford and Goodwin’s analysis has just been challenged.

    I’m a member of two colleges of the university.

  2. Garbie

    No I am not a member of PIE

  3. AlanGiles

    6 hours later and no reply from “Mary Ann” (not Blair in disguise is it?). I think fwiiw that as no vote has been held on EU membership for 40 years (and at that time it was the Common Market), it is only right that people under 58 get a chance to vote on whether we remain in it or not.

    It is rather high-handed of Miliband to say in effect he knows best and that the British people can’t be trusted to make up their own minds. I wouldn’t trust Miliband to tie his own shoelaces let alone decide anything important.

    I have no doubt the question will be disgracefully begged so people vote to stay in but at least they will get a chance to have their say. You don’t have to be a UKIP supporter to think this, but you seem, like “Leon Guest” to make judgements about people on virtually no information.

  4. tigerlily

    Can’t see how France is relevant – they have it worse? So what? And don’t forget hate crime happens in all directions. One of the drawbacks of immigration – an easy way to have prevented this would have been to not had immigration in the first place. But don’t let logic stop you.

  5. tigerlily

    No – free trade does not necessitate free movement of people at all. Even though the EU likes to state otherwise of course – but that’s because it has it’s own agenda of creating a united states of Europe, which is not a secret but stated plainly in the treaties.

  6. Guest

    No, not if you’re going to loot their economy, as you talk about your conspiracy.

  7. Guest

    When it’s factually a minor issue. You completely fail to realise the structural problem of 35 years of insufficient house building. But you blame trade, not that.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    I’d think they’re too far left for Alan

  9. Guest

    No, I am not you, but thanks for projecting.
    The only Spike you know about is the rusty one you keep for protection, of course, as you wallow in your bilge.

  10. Guest

    Keep claiming there have been no general elections for 40 years, factually untrue.

    You are also saying that Thatcher and Atlee are wrong, of course, that you disagree with them. You see the UKIP as leftists, right, as you claim that I don’t know plenty about you, Lord Blagger.

    YOU don’t have a say, as you’re not a UK citizen. Cry harder.

  11. Guest


    You’re a bigot, and?

  12. Guest

    Supermarkets and cheap alcohol there changed that. But facts.

    (Also, alcohol is a lot more relatively expensive than it was, and absolute poverty is rising sharply, which means less luxury spending, etc.)

  13. Guest

    Of course you can “help” me find alleys of thugs to beat people up. You’re terrified of reality, right, as you want me beaten for daring to bring it to you.

    Keep making excuses for your threats and hate of the UK.

  14. Guest

    Oh right, facts are hate now, as you blame me for your getting yourself wound up, and you engage in PC bigotry.

    I am signed in, you’re ignorant of basic Disqus functions. As usual.

  15. Guest

    Oh right, is that your excuse.

  16. Leon Wolfeson


  17. Guest

    It’s not as far right as you’re claiming.

    And I don’t care about your ancestors, I care about how you follow the laws of this country – that you break them and preach hate shows you have rejected your ancestors and should go somewhere suited to your views.

    You also a liar, since you are trying to isolate the UK and smash the economy by blocking trade.

  18. Guest

    You’re trying to make us more like France. “So what” there would be more hate crime, you say.

    And no, hate crime requires hate. An easy way to avoid trade is to block trade, you say. Sure, be like NK, refuse to have anything to do with the world.

  19. Guest


    As you dismiss a completely relevant and 100% true comment, as you scream I must be you. Nope, LB, cry harder.

    You support government-mandated unfairness.
    And the government-mandated supremacy of the few (rich) over the many.

    You said so, clearly. These are facts. This is your dogma, your belief, your Jihad.

  20. Leon Wolfeson

    Again again…If it doesn’t have the HoC votes, then the HoL’s actions are not relevant.

  21. David Bell

    Who the F*** mentioned beating anyone up??? What is your obsession with threats and hate? No, don’t bother Leon, I can’t waste any more time on trying to help you.

  22. LordFarquaad

    Excuse me? I “preach hate”, I’m a “liar”, I claim the UK is “far right”, and want to “isolate the UK” and “block trade”? I said or did any of those things? Really?

    You’re off your rocker.

  23. David Bell

    Sorry Leon, Facts are facts, I never said they were propaganda, you bought that up. The only treaties being amended (not cancelled) would be those with the EU. You know already that Ukip is not anti trade, simply anti EU. If you can’t understand that then you really are as dim as everyone on here says.

  24. Arturo Franks

    You have never been elected to a public post I assume.

  25. David Bell

    Hi Leon, you are pompous aren’t you, not only are you always right, you now think others know less than you. So, you are signed in but don’t want your name displayed, not even as Mickey Mouse, so you are a signed in ‘Guest’. Yawn, not really wound up, just can’t believe you exist as a real person.

  26. Leon Wolfeson

    Well sure, I do insist on using that pesky logic thing, which makes me ineligible.

  27. Arturo Franks

    Your ineligibility is multi faceted. And trivial.

  28. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah, you’re Lord Blagger.

  29. sarntcrip


  30. sarntcrip


  31. david vizor

    you are talking rubbish the NHS requires immigration . targeted immigration from all over the world .that is what ukip is fighting for .NOT uncontrolled unskilled labour from all over the EU .you sound silly and uneducated when you don’t understand what UKIP are campaigning about . an increase of 300000 people coming into the uk every year to keep down british workers wages is not the answer a targeted 50000 people with the right skill set is.

  32. Phill Phree

    In the interest of consistency UKIP should also support any country who tells our ex pats to piss off back to the UK. How many of them would, do you think?

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