71 Per Cent of French Want ‘Sharp Reduction’ in Migration

TOPSHOT - Men look at a makeshift camp during its evacuation by police, along the Canal de Saint-Martin at Quai de Valmy in Paris, on June 4, 2018. - More than 500 migrants and refugees were evacuated on early June 4, 2018 from a makeshift camp that had been set …
LUCAS BARIOULET/AFP via Getty Images

Over seven in ten people in France are in favour of a “considerable” reduction in the amount of migration coming into the country, a survey found this week.

A poll conducted by the CSA Institute for French broadcaster CNEWS revealed that 71 per cent of the public believe that the rate of immigration must be reduced “significantly”, compared to 28 per cent who disagreed.

Unsurprisingly, there was a political divide in the responses, with the majority of left-wing adults saying that there should not be a reduction, however, only just, with just 53 per cent saying that migration should be maintained. This rose marginally for adults who supported the Green Party, with 57 per cent backing the current rate.

Centrists were, however, firmly on the side of reducing immigration, with 67 per cent favouring a decrease in numbers.

The most definitive opinions were expressed by right-wing adults, 94 per cent of whom want to cut immigration. Even when excluding the so-called “far-right”, the percentage still remains at 90 per cent.

In all, the survey found a total of 71 per cent across all groups supported major controls on immigration, a massive, settled majority for what politicians insist is a controversial subject.

Interestingly, according to the survey, age was not a determining factor in the results, with 70 per cent of those under 35 years old wanting a reduction compared to 74 per cent of those over the age of 65.

The growing anti-immigration sentiment in younger adults was mirrored in the presidential elections in April, when the National Rally’s (RN) Marine Le Pen picked up significant gains among millennial voters against the globalist incumbent Emmanuel Macron. Though Le Pen failed to unseat the former banker, her party swept to surprise result in June’s National Assembly elections, in which RN secured 89 seats, up from 8.

The surprise result from the populist right-wing party, in combination with a strong showing among the far-left saw President Macron lose his governing majority in the French parliament.

Concern over the issue of immigration was central to the campaigns run by Le Pen, who vowed to had previously promised a referendum on immigration, arguing that successive French governments have ignored the will of the people and imposed mass migration upon the country without their consent.

Indeed, President Macron has presided over the highest levels of immigration in the history of France, according to findings from the Observatory of Immigration and Demography, despite the Chinese coronavirus crisis.

Following the National Assembly elections, Le Pen highlighted the role of immigration in the victory, saying: “It is true that we were pleasantly surprised by the mobilisation of our compatriots and by this wish that immigration, insecurity, the fight against Islamism do not disappear from the National Assembly.”

Radical Islam has increasingly become a hot-button issue in France, which has experienced a series of high-profile jihadi attacks in recent years, including a Chechen asylum seeker beheading of Samuel Paty, a teacher who showed his class a satirical portrayal of the Islamic prophet during a class on freedom of expression.

The problems associated with mass migration, including crime and terrorism, has even seen a group of retired generals warn last year that the country may descend into civil war if the government fails to defend patriotism and reject the Islamisation of the country.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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