There is massive public support for the government's 'British jobs for British workers' plan

  • YouGov poll: 59% of Brits support plans to make firms draw up lists of foreign workers
  • 73% of Conservative voters and 51% of Labour voters back it

The British public supports the Tory government’s plans to make businesses publish how many foreign workers they employ by more than two to one.

Home secretary Amber Rudd said the proposal would help to prevent migrants “taking jobs British people could do.”

In an online YouGov poll, 59% of respondents said that they support the idea, while just 26% oppose it.

The policy has been widely interpreted as an attempt to appeal to working class Labour voters who feel unrepresented by Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to commit to reducing immigration levels. Theresa May stated in her closing speech to the Conservative conference that she intends to “set our party and our country on the path towards the new centre-ground of British politics.”

If so, that strategy appears to be working — the proposal has strong support from Labour voters, with 51% supporting it, and just 32% opposing it:

Foreign workers numbers support by party 01


The idea has particularly strong support in Labour “heartlands” of Wales, the Midlands, and the North of England. Support in those regions is 61%.

Its appeal straddles class boundaries, too: 61% of working-class people support the idea, and 58% of middle-class people do.

The tone struck by Rudd has been widely compared to Gordon Brown’s notorious “British Jobs for British workers” speech in 2007, which was in turn compared to slogans adopted by far-right parties in the UK.

And while Rudd’s plans have been widely condemned by many, including business leaders and the Labour Party leadership, it is clear that the public feels differently.

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