Despite last week’s furore over pictures of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler whose body washed up onto the coast of Turkey, hostility to refugee migration still appears to be high even among lefties.
A survey from Left Foot Forward, a left-leaning blog founded by Will Straw, former parliamentary candidate and son of the former foreign secretary Jack, showed that a mere third of the site’s voting readership wanted to take in more refugees, with double that saying otherwise.
Admittedly it is a mere survey of 441, and the bluntness of the question may not reflect the diversity of opinion, as the site’s staff writer Ruby Stockham explained:
“The refugee crisis is a complex issue and it is difficult to properly gauge opinion with a yes/no question. There are many factors to consider: for example, does sending a message of acceptance encourage more people to make deadly sea crossings into Europe? How many of those who said ‘no’ are happy with the status quo, and how many would like to take less? Are there conditions attached to the ‘yes’ answers?”
Yet even with these caveats, the survey provides more evidence that public opinion is not quite as knee-jerk as some Fleet Street watchers would have you believe.
Data from the pollster YouGov earlier this week showed that half of the British public does not want to increase the current rate of refugee intake, with only a few surveyed saying the picture of Kurdi had influenced their views.
Despite the publication of these polls prime minister David Cameron still plans to resettle 20,000 refugees over the course of the current parliament, which is scheduled to end in 2020.
Full details of the Left Foot Forward poll can be found on the website.