RESIDENTS of Bournemouth are divided on the rights of migrants to live and work in Britain, new research on attitudes across the country shows.

News publisher Unherd – which surveyed more than 21,000 people in conjunction with pollster FocalData to map social attitudes across Great Britain – warned views on migration were "reshaping the British electorate", overshadowing the old economic divide between left and right-wing.

Participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement "immigrants should be free to move to Britain and work".

The responses were then analysed to create a model for each constituency based on the demographics of their populations.

Of the two constituencies that are in or cross over into Bournemouth, the most pro-immigration was Bournemouth East – 36 per cent supported free movement of labour, compared to 37 per cent who did not, with the rest undecided.

Of these, 16 per cent strongly agreed with the statement, while 20 per cent said they simply agreed.

The constituencies were ranked based on how many agreed versus disagreed, with the top ranking being the most in favour of immigration.

Bournemouth East placed 244th out of 632 constituencies – not including the 18 constituencies in Northern Ireland.

In the constituency of Bournemouth West, meanwhile, just 36 per cent of people were pro-immigration, compared to 38 per cent who were not – placing it at 253rd nationwide.

Across Britain as a whole, 35 per cent of people were pro-immigration, 38 per cent were against, and 27 per cent were not inclined either way.

Age, education and existing ethnic diversity are key factors that influence an area's collective attitude towards immigration, according to Eric Kaufmann, Unherd commentator and professor of politics at London's Birkbeck University.

The proportion of people with a university degree closely correlates with their outlook, with more educated populations tending to be more welcoming of migrants, he said.

London's Battersea had the most pro-immigration sentiment, with 63 per cent backing their right to work in Britain, and just 18 per cent disagreeing.

The area most hostile to immigrants was Clacton in Essex, where 47 per cent of residents were against free movement.

Mr Kaufmann added: "Immigration attitudes are the fulcrum around which the politics of western societies are realigning.

"This is because those whose psychological make-up inclines them to see difference as disorder and change as loss are voting for parties that promise to slow immigration.

"Should Boris Johnson ink a [Brexit] deal while failing to reduce migration levels, we should expect this debate to return – intruding as sharply into British politics as it did in the run-up to 23 June, 2016."