Huge public backing for Rishi Sunak’s plan to tackle the boats crisis

PM says new immigration bill is 'tough but necessary'

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Rishi Sunak’s bold plan to end the Channel migrant crisis has been given a huge thumbs up by voters. In an exclusive OnePoll survey, the number of people saying they are more likely to vote Tory following the Prime Minister’s crackdown on illegal immigration jumped by 18 percent.

Mr Sunak will be buoyed that his policy has been backed by Conservative supporters with 30 per cent saying they are more likely to vote for the party ­following Tuesday’s announcement.

And 23 per cent more people said they would vote for the Conservative party anyway, ­regardless of the policy on ­immigration, in a sign the public are warming to his leadership.

This rockets by 55 per cent with Tory supporters – again indicating the plan’s importance among Conservatives.

Despite widespread anger from Left-wing politicians and activists, only 10 per cent of people – most of whom were Labour and Lib Dem supporters – said they were less likely to vote for the Tories because of the plan.

The Prime Minister will travel to the French capital on Friday for talks which will focus on issues including tackling migrant small boats ­crossings, boosting defence ­co-operation and energy security. The public clearly believe Mr Sunak is the right person to stop the boats with 35 per cent more people saying they trust him to manage immigration.

Unsurprisingly, this has leapt by 75 per cent among Conservative voters since the announcement was made this week.

By contrast only 27 per cent more voters say they trust Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to manage UK immigration.

Writing in the Daily Express Tory backbencher Jonathan Gullis said Mr Sunak is sending a “clear ­message” over immigration.

He said: “The Prime Minister promised to stop the boats and I know first hand just how hard he has been working to deliver this.

“I am therefore confident he means business and will deliver
on that pledge.”

Many people are also convinced that the plan, which commits to removing anyone entering the country illegally within 28 days, will work.

Overall, 13 per cent more voters say it will work “well”, with 19 per cent more Tories saying the same.

This increases to 23 per cent ­people who think it will work “OK”, leaping to 33 per cent among Conservative supporters.

Even Lib Dem backers believe the plan will work “OK”, with 30 per cent more saying they
think it will succeed.

However, the survey shows that 63 per cent of people think it “won’t work” or “fail dismally”.

On Tuesday, the government announced anyone found to have entered illegally would be blocked from ­returning or claiming British ­citizenship in future.

Those who arrive in small boats would either be returned to their home nation, or another “safe third country” such as Rwanda. There will also be a cap on the number of refugees the UK will settle through “safe and legal routes” – set ­annually by Parliament.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the BBC that the British public “have had enough” of migrants arriving in small boats.

Around 45,000 people made the crossing last year and more than 3,000 have done so in 2023.

The survey, carried out following Tuesday’s ­announcement of the new tough line, shows the Tories appear to be closing the gap on Labour. Polls over recent months have shown Sir Keir’s party has a huge lead – up to 29 points – over the Conservatives.

If there were a general election tomorrow the OnePoll survey put Labour on 38 per cent, with the Tories on 25 per cent, the Liberal Democrats on 11 per cent with the Green Party on six per cent.

Mr Sunak has said immigration is set to be “clear dividing line” between his party and Labour at the next election.

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