Ireland and asylum seekers, Gaza protests, and is the economy turning a corner? My May poll

  • 16 May, 2024
  • Politics
  • Polling

Only 7% of British voters support taking back asylum seekers who have crossed the border into Ireland unless France takes back migrants from the UK, according to my latest poll. I also found that less than half think that concern for the Palestinians is among the main motivations for the university Gaza protests, and only 49% of 2019 Conservative voters are seriously considering staying with the party the next general election. Other issues include the reaction to better economic news, the local election aftermath, and our regular tracking measures.

Asylum, Ireland and the EU

In the wake of the row between Ireland and the UK over reports that asylum seekers have been crossing the Irish border in order to avoid being sent to Rwanda, we asked how people felt about the situation.

Half of all voters – including 78% of 2019 Tories and 87% of those leaning towards Reform UK – backed the government’s previously stated position that the UK “should refuse to take back asylum seekers who have arrived in Ireland from the UK until France takes back asylum seekers who have arrived in Britain from the EU”. This position was also backed by 84% of former Tories who did not vote for the party at the local elections and say the party will have to do a lot to win them back.

Only 7% thought the UK should take back asylum seekers from Ireland even if France refuses to take back migrants from the UK – the scenario that appears to have been the reality, given yesterday’s news that 50 asylum seekers were returned by Irish police after they crossed the border in October and February.

Just under a quarter (23%) of all respondents – including 40% of 2019 Labour voters – said asylum seekers should not be returned from either country but should be able to claim asylum in whichever country they choose.

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