Britons starkly divided over Rwanda plan: New poll – commissioned by Tony Blair – reveals how majority of Tory voters and Brexiteers back migrant scheme, but Labour voters and Remainers are opposed
- New poll shows 35% support Rwanda scheme with 45% opposed to the plan
- Stark divisions in support for the scheme are revealed among different voters
- A majority of Conservative voters and Brexit supporters favour the policy
- But a majority of Labour voters and Remainers are opposed to £120m scheme
Britons are starkly divided over the Government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda, a new poll has revealed.
The survey conducted for ex-prime minister Tony Blair’s thinktank showed how a majority of Conservative voters and Brexit supporters are in favour of the £120m scheme.
But a majority of Labour voters and Remainers are opposed to ministers’ attempt to deport asylum seekers to Africa.
The results of the poll, undertaken by JL Partners, were revealed after Home Secretary Priti Patel was thwarted in her efforts to get the Rwanda scheme up and running last night.
The European Court of Human Rights intervened at the eleventh hour on Tuesday to prevent the first flight to the African nation from taking off.
The survey found, among all those asked, the Government’s Rwanda policy was supported by 35 per cent, with 45 per cent opposed.
More than one in 10 (12 per cent) were neutral on the issue, while eight per cent said they did not know whether they supported or opposed the policy.
A majority of Conservative voters support the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda – but most Labour voters are opposed
Brexit supporters are in favour of the £120m scheme, but those who wanted the UK to remain in the EU do not support the policy
Stark differences in support for the scheme were revealed when respondents were divided by their voting intentions and their views on Brexit.
Among Conservative voters, 71 per cent supported the Rwanda scheme and 11 per cent were opposed.
But this was reversed among Labour voters, with only 15 per cent in support and 66 per cent opposed.
The same division was also found among Leave and Remain supporters.
Among those who backed Brexit, more than half (57 per cent) supported sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, with 23 per cent opposed.
And, among those who wanted the UK to stay in the EU, less than one-fifth (18 per cent) supported the migration policy, with almost two-thirds (65 per cent) opposed.
Ms Patel has touted her Rwanda scheme as a means of cracking down on migrants entering Britain via perilous journeys across the Channel.
The Home Secretary hopes the prospect of being sent to Rwanda to have asylum claims processed will deter many from attempting to arrive in Britain in the first place.
The JL Partners poll revealed what Britons wanted from an asylum system, with 65 per cent backing ‘fairness’ compared with 27 per cent wanting ‘deterrence’ in a forced choice.
Half (50 per cent) believed the Rwanda scheme is ‘unworkable’, with 36 per cent thinking it is ‘sensible’.
Little more than a third (35 per cent) thought it was likely to deter people from crossing the Channel, while 52 per cent thought it was not likely to deter people.
The survey found, among all those asked, the Government’s Rwanda policy was supported by 35 per cent, with 45 per cent opposed
Half (50 per cent) believed the Rwanda scheme is ‘unworkable’, with 36 per cent thinking it is ‘sensible’
The JL Partners poll revealed what Britons wanted from an asylum system, with 65 per cent backing ‘fairness’ compared with 27 per cent wanting ‘deterrence’
Home Secretary Priti Patel has touted her Rwanda scheme as a means of cracking down on migrants entering Britain via perilous journeys across the Channel
When respondents were asked to rank their support for a series of asylum policies, the most popular was the return of failed asylum seekers to EU countries (77 per cent).
There was also high support (61 per cent) for allowing asylum claims to be made from outside the UK, such as at British embassies abroad.
Less than a fifth (17 per cent) supported making it illegal for asylum seekers to claim asylum outside the UK, even if they have a valid claim – which is the Government’s current policy.
A majority were in favour of introducing a form of digital identification to make it harder for asylum seekers whose claims had been rejected to work and settle, with 55 per cent in favour and 28 per cent opposed.
Harvey Redgrave, a senior policy adviser at the Tony Blair Institute, said: ‘These findings demonstrate that there is a market for an approach on asylum that combines the principles of control and compassion, rather than forcing people to choose between one or the other.
‘And that most of all, the public want policies which will work, rather than those which sound tough but subsequently unravel.’
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