Here's the map (thanks to Soylent Dave):
UKIP's key message is anti-immigration, but its support comes from areas with few immigrants. Why?
- People who dislike immigration have moved to get away from it.
- Fear of immigration is irrational, and is dispelled by getting to know some actual immigrants.
(I recall a friend's father - a very intelligent guy, not a bigot - talking about immigration, in Shropshire in the 1990s. We feel as if we're being overrun! he said. I looked out of the cottage window. The immemorial hills stretched out above us. No human figure was to be seen. The green fields were dotted with grazing sheep....)
- The marginal cost of the first migrant is the highest
Now suppose that even a little immigration or population movement destroys that trust quite quickly. Then the places which still have these stable communities will be keen to stop migration. Other places will already have lost the stability, so it will weigh less against the countervailing gains from immigration, such as cheap or skilled labour. They will also perhaps have started to develop more multicultural forms of community, making it easier for them to integrate more new arrivals.
It would be fun to test these rival theories. Relatedly, it would be interesting to see whether the UKIP areas actually have big recent immigration flows (i.e. changes in the immigrant stock, it is the stock that is shown above) - in percentage terms, say.
Another point about these maps is that they do not seem compatible with anti-immigration sentiment being due to squeezed public services (the "Britain is full" argument). Those squeezes would surely be tighter in urbanized, highly populated areas, but UKIP support seems to come from the countryside.