Which political party do voters back on immigration?
It is a question that has been asked during many election campaigns in the past and one that has influenced the strategies of the main parties. Ever since the 1960s, the most popular answer given by voters was the Conservative Party.
Historically, the centre right has held a strong advantage on this issue, being seen as the party that is most likely to deliver on what consistently around seven in ten voters want to see; a reduction in the level of immigration into the country. Despite concerns among some Tory ‘modernisers’ about possible reputational damage, the simple reality is that the Conservative Party has traditionally remained closest to public opinion on this issue and has been rewarded accordingly.
But now, things have changed.
This article was first published on The Times RedBox and can be found in it’s entirety here
Dr Matthew Goodwin is Associate Professor of Politics. He is also Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.