Apparently not, as even the Tories own research has shown.
We also know that there are lies, damned lies and statistics and you can tailor a poll to get you the answer you want to prove your point. Well, MigrationBotch are past masters at this, even if they get respectable polling organisations like YouGov to do it for them. And they did it again with their latest poll, the results of which were released at the weekend.
Important stuff Alan Green clearly thinks as he headed his press release 'Immigration curbs could have a decisive impact on the election result Second only to the economy in key marginals.' [17 January] Except, the results almost exactly mirror those found for the Tory party in the run up to the last general election and Michael Ashcroft's exhaustive study of public opinion 'Smell The Coffee: A Wake-Up Call For The Conservative Party' found that in the end the Tories' singling out of immigration as a key issue had little positive effect:
"The issue that dominated the Conservative campaign, immigration, was never important enough to voters to determine how large numbers of them would cast their votes, however strongly they agreed with the Tory position";
and may in fact have had a negative effect:
"In fact there is evidence that the Conservatives’ focus on immigration actually cost them support. As Mary Ann Sieghart observed in The Times in March, the people the Conservatives need to woo back if they are to win an election “are not socially conservative, elderly or working class folk, but younger,more urban, middle classes” who were actively put off by the Conservative campaign."
In fact the extensive championing of immigration in the 2005 election did absolutely nothing to increase the level of support for them on the issue as polling had shown in the previous year.