Poll: 58 Percent Oppose Commercial Immigration

June 11, 2015

When asked about relaxing current immigration controls to allow investors and more workers into the island as a way to improve the economy [commercial immigration], 58% opposed the idea, while 34.4% would be in favour of it, according to a recent poll released by Profiles of Bermuda.

In releasing the poll results the company said, “When asked if they would be in favour, or would oppose, relaxing current immigration controls to allow investors and more workers into the island, as a way to improve the economy [commercial immigration], nearly 6 in 10 voters [58%] would oppose the idea. One-third [34.4%] would be in favour of it.

Screenshot of the poll results from Profiles of Bermuda

Poll Voters Not In Favour Of Commercial Immigration

Differences By Race

Profiles said, “By race, there were clear differences. Nearly three-quarters of Blacks [73.9%] were opposed to the idea, compared to two-thirds of Whites and Others [65.5%] who were in favour of relaxing immigration controls for investment purposes.

Differences By Gender

“By gender there were also differences. Males were evenly split on their views with 47.6% opposing the relaxation of immigration policies as a way to improve the economy and 44.4% in favour of it.

“On the other hand, females were more likely than males to oppose the relaxation of immigration policies, 65%, with 27.7% in favour of it.”

Differences By Age

By age groups, younger voters [those between the ages of 18 and 34], were split in their views, with 45.5% opposing the relaxation of immigration policies and 41.4% in favour of it.

“However, other age groups were clearer in their views. Nearly 6 in 10 of those 35-54 [59.4%], and two-thirds of those 55 and over [64.1%], opposed the idea.

Differences By Income

“And by income, only those persons in households earning $100,000 or more were in fa-vour of commercial immigration [50% with 43.1% opposed.]

“Persons in households earning under $50,000 [73%] and those in households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 [60.7%] were opposed to the idea of commercial immigration.”

Poll Notes

In explaining the poll, Profiles of Bermuda said category totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.

The 2015 survey was conducted among 407 registered voters between 15 April 2015 and 10 May 2015 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8%.

Some 75% of respondents were obtained by landlines, 11% by cell phones and 14% via the internet. Data for all demographics were weighted to reflect the 2010 Census.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Starting Point says:

    Not surprising results but once again the wording of the question leads to bias.

    You can not link investors and workers into the same question. Most would oppose workers as the inference is entry and mid level workers which compete for jobs with Bermudians. Investors compete with no Bermudians and their families for the most part are insignificant in terms of competition.

    Run the survey and ask:

    Are you in favour of commercial immigration for investors contributing above XXX in funds to projects / businesses based in Bermuda? if yes, should a maximum allowance per year exist? 10,20,30 or more citizenship cards.

    Are you in favour of commercial immigration for entry to mid level employees? if yes, should a maximum allowance per year exist? 10,20,30 or more citizenship cards?

    I have no idea who runs the various survey companies here but this question was designed to illicit a response vs. identifying the current trend in the populace.

    • Truth(Original) says:


      The phrasing of these polls a designed to do one thing specifically …trying to direct policy decisions and force the Government into a difficult task of doing the necessary thing to fix the economy without “public support”.

      As if these polls could ever represent the public view…

    • Chaos Theory says:

      Profiles of Bermuda is run by Cordell Riley.

      The question always slants the outcome – just think of the casino referendum question.

    • Chaos Theory says:

      I might add, how you select your respondants also has a bearing on the outcome.

      I seem to recall Mr Riley soliciting particpants for one of his recent polls on Facebook BE2012, which I don’t think would give a very balanced selection of opinions.

    • inna says:

      Cordell Riley runs Profiles of BDA.

    • Yahoo says:

      Another Cordell Riley Special. He’s the master of asking loaded questions and keeping that race fire fully stoked.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Hey Dipstick this poll would be the same result in any country.

      • Zevon says:

        Hey dum***. Where in the question does it mention “commercial immigration”?
        Oh yeah. Nowhere.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      This is precisely why I stopped answering the polls a few years ago.

  2. hmmm says:

    Same 407 people on same poll as previous ones where the majority were PLP supporters, yet 44% of those PLP supporters thought the OBA would manage the economy better than the PLP.

    I think putting these polls out in piecemeal and out of order of the questions is a little unfair. emotions, and bias can be created in order to generate certain responses in following questions.

    • inna says:

      Bingo!!!! Your last sentence says it all. The masses only needs a few buzzwords to be all rallied up you kno!

  3. Crazy says:

    How can you oppose commercial immigration policies when the Government has yet to suggest specifics. I guess when you’re in the business of polling, you’re just looking for work.

  4. Jeremy Deacon says:

    We are all worried about Belco prices rises, we are all worried about health care costs yet, we are all worried about making a living – but there will be no growth and there will be further rises in the cost of living unless there is population growth.

    • WarwickBoy says:


      You take the prize for today for the most truthful comment. You’re absolutely right. Economic growth is driven by two factors – population growth and productivity growth. We are not going to achieve five or ten percent productivity growth per year to boost gdp (we’d be lucky to achieve 2% per year), so if we want to boost economic growth, we need more people engaging in economic activities.

      We need more people working, holding increasing numbers of job positions. It really is that simple.

    • hmmm says:

      Hi Rhonda

    • flikel says:

      I agree, we do need population growth. As the poll results show, blacks are wary and skeptical about commercial immigration. In the past, Bermuda adapted immigration policies to increase the number of white residents and consequently reduce the ‘voice’ of the black population.

      I think the poll results indicate, blacks are worried that history will repeat itself and this initiative is another attempt to dilute their voting power.

      Should we introduce commercial immigration, I think the Government needs to ensure a diverse set of people will be allowed into Bermuda under this scheme. Perhaps, the race/ethnicity of commercial immigrants be reflective of the existing population and not heavily skewed toward a particular race. If this is not the case, I think there will be serious protests and discontent.

    • sswhite says:

      We can’t even feed ourselves (a sure sign of national fragility) yet we are asking for population growth? I am not sure if you are looking at this thing globally. Your (possible) faith on the old economic tenets (namely the bogus Keynsian models) will soon be shaken. Our relationships with the US and England will soon prove to be cancerous financially – our do you (possibly) believe the bogus economic figures Westernized countries continue to spew in the hopes of convincing the financially inept that we are in “recovery.” Oh yes the DOW is high! Surely the underlying fundamentals are healthy! So sad how most have been deceived. How long has this “recovery” been taking place? If a patient at a hospital was in recovery for 7 years I’d say he has some severe underlying problems yet diagnosed.

      Yet the wealth gap in most western countries is the highest on record. Keep that economic system for yourself . I have mountains of real data to rebuke the lies one bears witness to as touted by CNBC or any other “news” agency that is party to this grandiose lie. It would be better if we were to contract away from “Big Business” and focus on our agriculture firstly and the diversification of our economy AWAY from the financial alchemy that is now Wall Street and its global peripheries. But what do I know right? But I know this – time will reveal all truths and the truth is that by the beginning of this fall there will be nothing the OBA or PLP can do to stop exodus of “big business” here on island as their system finally begins to die from the gangrene that has been festering and indeed growing since the turn of this new century – the CFM act of 2000 is one example. They will not be able to “ease” their way out of this one. Those in the know know exactly what I mean and have positioned themselves accordingly. We are all in “check” presently as our “king” (IB) is truly under threat.

    • Portia says:

      Actually, there will still be further rises in the cost of living if our population DOES grow. It’s supply and demand; more people means more strain on the Island’s infrastructure, especially in terms of housing. The cost of housing isn’t going to decrease with more people – landlords will demand more, because everyone will need a place to stay. This (and greed) is what caused the island’s real estate to overheat in the first place.

      The price of groceries, insurance, etc wasn’t dropping when our population was larger – it was still increasing year on year. So I don’t think people are convinced that commercial immigration is going to fix that.

      • Casual Observer says:

        But there were more jobs and hence people had more disposable income to pay for the increases.

        What do you say about the fact that our highest GDP was achieved with the most work permits issued in our history? Most work permits and little to no unemployment is coincidence?

        What do you says about the fact that since we lost thousands of people we have experienced 6 years of negative GDP growth?

        Also, what about the fact that wage stagnation has also occurred in lock step with our declining population?

        Less people equals less people paying into our seriously underfunded pensions, less healthy people paying into the healthcare system which is now being overburdened by our aging population etc.

        It is pretty to observe and understand the devastating effects of a declining population in terms of economic activity. Just look at the numbers.

    • impressive. says:

      everyone has opinions, and I have learned to respect others, however if increasing the population was the simple solution to economic stability, why aren’t many other countries who are experiencing financial pressure rushing to find ways to increase their population?? Or are we in Bermuda got the golden solution that nobody else knows about?? wondering

      • Ringmaster says:

        Check Cayman. Recent increased population has created surplus tax revenues allowing a reduction of their debt.

  5. Mutual Repect says:

    Don’t tell me. Is this more of the same poll as all the others using 400 not so random candidates to guarantee a certain result? Got it!

  6. Onion says:

    So the old and poor oppose it, the young and successful support it.

  7. The Truth and Nothing but the Truth !! says:

    Please someone make these useless polls stop!! I would hope we are not paying for this crap !!!

  8. Raymond Ray says:

    These so called “Polls’ do not represent the majority of the Bermudians population. They’re conducted with the use of just over 400 phone calls. They’re an insult to ones intelligence. Unfortunately, many pick up these polls and run with them, and do believe the vast majority of the Bermudian population feel accordingly :-(
    It’s a farce and it need not be publicized without clarity for it causes more disruption than we need…It’s another case of, “the blind leading the blind.”

  9. Alvin Williams says:

    Four thousand Bermudians out of work and you want to push a policy of bringing more people in? No wonder a poll will indicate that Bermudians would be opposed to any extension of immigration no matter what is promise by that extension. Bermuda is no different from any other country when it comes to this issue. The question of immigration is a top political issue in the United States. It is becoming a major political issue in the UK and Australia an island continent which could support a population three or four times it’s size has lock down it’s borders and pays other poorer countries to take in any would be immigrant. Bermuda 21 sq miles long and four miles across. Facing a major unemployment crisis and there is no reaction to the feelings of Bermudians who feel they are being push out of their country to become economic refugees in another man’s country. Bermuda and Bermudians have never been given the credit for how tolerant we have been as a country to the many foreign nationals who have come to live and work in our country. But the immigration policies of this government have done damage and will undermine that tolerance and we will have a country heading for social unrest.

  10. bluebird says:

    You can have all the polls you want youcan have as many people into the island as you want,it will not fix the economy.
    The only thing that will fix the economy is to CUT 4,000 from the Government,and that would only give us a balanced budget.
    We will have to cut entitlements as you cannot SUCK BLOOD FROM A STONE.
    So you all want to live like Greece EH! ha ha ha ha

  11. Terry says:

    Spot on Deacon.

    I would love to see the tele#’s of those called in all these stupid surveys.

    Bet their all the same.
    Where is FOIA.

  12. Bermyman says:

    “Persons in households earning under $50,000 [73%] and those in households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 [60.7%] were opposed to the idea of commercial immigration.”

    Now link the incomes to Education levels of those surveyed and then ask the question, ‘Do you understand how the Bermuda economy works?’

  13. unus sed leo says:

    You clowns dare say this?…correct me if I am wrong but …you can’..or won’t employ your constituents and indininous now!????….you are “aware”…of this epidemiology now aren’t you?….hellooooo….is there anybody in there?…knock knock knock!…(rapping on the side of your head!”).

  14. unus sed leo says:

    Now…this being the case…perhaps the indigenous people would be better off with foreign politicians as representative of our desires and requirements….at least …if they didn’t do our bidding we could simply impeach and send them home…which is more to the point isn’t it….sorry…but …it was my intent…being poinient….just call me Poindexter while your at it…

  15. Profiles lack integrity says:

    Cordell Riley’s polls have NO credibility. He continues to disappoint in trying to present information he has clearly slanted to get responses to undermine the Government. He needs to openly join the peoples campaign as his motives are the same.

  16. nomoremoney says:

    dont know who did the poll, or who asked the questions, but i really think these are not accurate.I think there is a pattern of bias in this poll and polls done by global research (bermuda company )and they often favour their clients.

    pay and display research.