Skip to main content
Hot Topics

Survey of English attitudes shows increased tolerance but growing divisions

Hope not Hate has launched the fourth edition of its Fear and Hope study of English attitudes on race, faith, belonging and other current issues. Despite recent turbulent events – four terrorist attacks in three months, Brexit negotiations, and the Grenfell Fire, this poll of more than 4,000 people in England suggests that overall the country is an increasingly tolerant and open place, despite areas of deep concern.

The 2017 edition is based on the six identity segments previously identified and shows that:

  • The ‘Confident Multiculturals’ group has continued to grow following the EU referendum and is now the largest segment of the population (22%);
  • The ‘Mainstream Liberals’ have remained roughly the same size (17%), but together with the ‘Confident Multiculturals’ are becoming increasingly confident and are louder champions of multiculturalism and diversity;
  • The ‘Active Enmity’ group has continued to decline (5%) indicating an increased willingness of those with deep concerns over immigration to engage with the political system, as opposed to using direct action or violence.

However, the ‘Latent Hostile’ group has increased compared to previous years (17%), which means that the ‘liberal’ shift has resulted in a reduced middle, leaving behind a persistent hostile section of society (22%) whose views have not changed since 2011.

And attitudes towards Muslims and Islam have worsened, with just over half of people (52%) saying that Islam poses a threat to the West, and 42% saying that they are more suspicious of Muslims as a result of the recent terrorist attacks.

More people (55%) believe immigration has been good for the country than six years ago, and nearly 90%  believe immigration is essential, but future levels should be determined by economic need. There are stark divisions in the way each ‘tribe’ sees immigration, and economic concerns remain paramount in the more hostile segments.

Attitudes towards race, faith and belonging have become increasingly polarised, and the country is highly divided over Brexit.

Find out more about the survey findings.