- A third of Britons trust Labour to have the right policies towards asylum seekers (35%) and immigration (34%), ahead of the Conservatives on 28% - but trust in the Conservatives has risen 7-8 points since November.
- Only 12% say Suella Braverman is doing a good job as Home Secretary while 37% say she is doing badly – though critics have fallen from 50% in November, Conservative 2019 voters remain more negative than positive.
- Labour continues to be more trusted to manage Britain’s taxes and public spending as well as reducing people’s cost of living
- Half support limiting international students from being able to bring dependents with them – though only 1 in 5 think imposing new restrictions on international students will be good for the economy.
New research by Ipsos shows nearly 4 in 10 Britons (37%) now believe Suella Braverman is doing a bad job in her role as Home Secretary, down from 50% who were critical in November of last year. Meanwhile, 25% say her performance is neither good nor bad and only 12% say she is doing well. This slightly improves among Conservative 2019 voters (17% good job vs 27% who say she is performing poorly). Among 2019 Labour voters, more than half (54%) say she is doing a bad job while 10% say she is doing well.
Trust in parties
When considering which parties can be trusted to deal with policies surrounding immigration, and asylum seekers, neither party scores highly although Britons tend to trust Labour more. A third trust Labour a great deal or fair amount to have the right policies towards asylum seekers (35%), 28% say the same for the Conservative Party. Similarly, 34% trust Labour to have the right immigration policies (28% Conservative). When is comes to handling the issue of migrants crossing the English Channel, 32% trust Labour and 24% trust the Conservatives. However, on all of these while Labour’s scores are little changed since last November, trust in the Conservatives has improved (by 7, 8, and 6 ppts respectively). There is little difference between the two parties when it comes to making it harder to enter the country illegally, 31% trust Labour to do so while 30% trust the Conservatives.
The Labour Party remain more trusted when it comes to managing Britain’s taxes and public spending, 39% trust the opposition party compared to 31% who trust the Conservatives. Similarly, 36% trust Labour to reduce their cost of living, and less than a quarter trust the Conservatives to do the same. It is worth noting, however, that again there has been slight improvement in the levels of trust in the Conservatives since last November.
Looking at policies regarding international students, almost half (48%) say they would support limiting international students’ abilities to bring dependents (such as spouses of children) into the UK. Just over 1 in 5 would be opposed to this (22%). Four in 10 (40%) would be in favour of reducing the time international students can remain in the UK to work following completion of their studies with 27% against the policy. Just under 4 in 10 (37%) would support the implementation of new restriction on international students coming to the UK to study more generally while 28% would be opposed.
Should the government reduce the amount of time international students can stay in the UK to work after completing their studies, 41% of Britons believe this would decrease the number of international students who come to the UK to study while 3 in 10 (31%) believe it would make no difference and only 12% think it would increase the number.
Opinion is split when it comes to the impact implementing new restrictions on international students will have on the British economy. Just under a third (31%) say it will have a very/fairly bad impact while 35% expect it to have no difference and 1 in 5 (22%) say it will be very/fairly good.
Allaa Barri, Associate Director in Public Affairs at Ipsos, said:
As we’ve seen across a number of issues, the public largely mistrusts both the Labour party and the Conservative party in their handlings of immigration. However, despite an increase in trust in the Conservatives since November, there is still slightly more trust in the Labour party., Public backing of the Home Secretary has also seen some improvement, with more than one in three (37%) saying she is doing a bad job compared to half (50%) in November, but still larger than the 12% who say she’s doing a good job. Looking specifically at opinions towards her proposed potential changes to international student visa regulations, public attitudes are mixed, with more supporting the potential changes than opposing – despite more thinking it will be bad for the economy than good.
- Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,083 adults aged 18-75 in Great Britain. Interviews took place on the online Omnibus 3rd-4th February 2023. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
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