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The State of the Nation: 10 Key Findings

  1. England is an increasingly more tolerant and open society, with 39% of the English occupying the two most liberal tribes in society. However, 23% of the population remain bitterly opposed to liberal views.

 

  1. Attitudes towards immigration are softening, caused by changing demographics and the belief among sceptics that Brexit will partly solve the ‘problem’. Over 90% of Britons believe immigration is essential, but economic need should determine the future level of immigration.

 

  1. However, attitudes towards Muslims and Islam as a religion have worsened, with 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.

 

  1. The majority of Britons welcomed the acts of unity after the recent terror attacks and want communities to come together. However, there is a significant minority whose views are hardening since these recent attacks.

 

  1. There remains a cautious optimism about the economy, but expectations for the future economic well-being are clearly divided along Brexit lines, with Remain voters fearful and Leave voters more optimistic.

 

  1. Fewer people identify with being English than they did in 2011. Very few Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) identify themselves as English.

 

  1. Only 6% of people are very confident that Theresa May will secure a good deal for Britain in the EU negotiations.

 

  1. Brexit divides British society into two very distinct groups and there is little prospect that a deal can be secured without angering and further alienating one or both of the groups. There is also very little appetite for reversing the Referendum result.

 

  1. Attitudes to the Grenfell Tower disaster have deeply divided the country. Londoners, Labour voters and BAME draw a wider lesson about Britain’s unequal society where the poor lose out, whilst those outside London, Conservatives and Nigel Farage supporters view it as an isolated unfortunate accident.

 

  1. There is a real space for Nigel Farage to set up a new populist right political party, with 15% of people identifying with him as the leader closest to their own views.