On 2 September photographs were published of Aylan al-Kurdi’s body on the shores of a Turkish beach, prompting widespread attention to the refugee crisis and seemingly changing the conversation regarding it in the British press.
However, a survey by YouGov over the following day has shown that the photographs of the three-year-old boy and subsequent attention seemingly did little to sway the minds of the public.
Fifty-six per cent of respondents, questioned on 2-3 September, said that Britain should accept fewer ‘migrants’ than the average of other EU countries, compared to 58 per cent in June.
It can be argued from this data that, for at least the day following the publication of the photographs, there was little to no change in the public perception of the crisis with regards to Britain's responsibility to refugees.
However, it is also worth noting that in the survey, commissioned by ITN, the respondents were asked about accepting ‘migrants’, not refugees.
The majority of Conservative and Ukip supporters believe that the UK should accept fewer ‘migrants’ than the average of other EU countries.
More Labour supporters also hold this view than any other, while the predominate view of Liberal Democrat supporters is that we should accept the same amount.
However, half the country believes that Britain should be doing more to deal with the current crisis.
Sixty-four per cent of Liberal Democrats believe that Britain should be doing more to deal with the crisis, compared to 59 per cent of Labour supporters, 42 per cent of Ukip and 39 per cent of Conservatives.