A third of people in Midlothian are anti-immigration, says survey

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More than a third of people in Midlothian do not think that immigrants should be free to live and work in Britain, according to new research.

News publisher Unherd – which surveyed more than 21,000 people in conjunction with pollster FocalData to map social attitudes across Great Britain – warned views on migration were “reshaping the British electorate”, overshadowing the old economic divide between left and right-wing.

Participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement “immigrants should be free to move to Britain and work”.

The responses were then analysed to create a model for each constituency based on the demographics of their populations.

In Midlothian, more people were against immigration (36 per cent) than were in favour (35 per cent), with the rest undecided. Of these, 15 per cent strongly disagreed with the statement, while 21 per cent said they simply disagreed.

The Westminster constituencies were ranked based on how many agreed versus disagreed, with a lower ranking indicating greater support for immigration.

Midlothian placed 242nd of 632 constituencies– not including the 18 in Northern Ireland. Across Britain as a whole, 35 per cent of people were pro-immigration, 38 per cent were against, and 27 per cent were not inclined either way.

Age, education and ethnic diversity are key factors that influence an area’s collective attitude towards immigration, according to Eric Kaufmann, Unherd commentator and professor of politics at London’s Birkbeck University.

“The proportion of people with a university degree closely correlates with their outlook, with more educated populations tending to be more welcoming of migrants.”

London’s Battersea had the most pro-immigration sentiment, with 63 per cent backing their right to work in Britain, and just 18 per cent disagreeing. The area most hostile to immigrants was Clacton in Essex, where 47 per cent of residents were against free movement.

Mr Kaufmann added: “Immigration attitudes are the fulcrum around which the politics of western societies are realigning.

“This is because those whose psychological make-up inclines them to see difference as disorder and change as loss are voting for parties that promise to slow immigration.”