Last updated at 2:40 AM on 27th February 2011
Almost half the country would back a far-Right party if they gave up violence, an astonishing new poll revealed today.
A total of 48 per cent said that they would support a group that vowed to crack down on immigration and Islamic extremists.
They would also restrict the building of mosques and order the flag of St George or the Union Jack be flown on all public buildings.
Potentially popular: Extremists like the English Defence League (pictured) could receive more support if they shunned violence and fascist imagery
Anti-racism campaigners said the findings were a clear sign that Britain's mainstream parties were losing touch with many voters on the issue of race.
There has been a recent wave of support for extremists such as the English Defence League and the British National Party.
And the poll, which will spark fresh fears of racial tension, suggests that the level of backing for a far-Right party could equal or even outstrip that in countries such as France, the Netherlands and Austria.
France's National Front party hopes to secure 20 per cent in the first round of the presidential vote next year.
The Dutch anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders attracted 15.5 per cent of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections.
The revelations will spark fresh fears of racial tension in Britain amid a new wave of support for extreme right-wing parties like the British National Party and the English Defence League.
Findings of the survey, the largest of its kind and involving 5,054 people, are in a major report called Fear and Hope – the New Politics of Identity, which examines views on race, immigration and multi-culturalism.
Concern: Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who fought against the BNP in his east London constituency, said the poll findings pointed a 'very real threat'
Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and campaigning Left-wing Labour MP Jon Cruddas will officially unveil the report, produced for the Searchlight Education Trust, tomorrow.
They will also launch Searchlight’s Together project to tackle extremism among white and Islamic -communities with the slogan: ‘A plague on both their houses’.
Mr Cruddas, who fought a successful campaign against the BNP in his Dagenham and Rainham constituency in east London, told The Observer that the findings pointed to a ‘very real threat of a new potent political constituency built around an assertive English nationalism’.
The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39 per cent preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5 per cent labelled themselves European.
In one of the most revealing questions, pollsters Populus asked people if they would back a party that ‘wants to defend the English, create an English parliament, control immigration and challenge Islamic extremism’.
A total of 48 per cent said they would either ‘definitely support’ or ‘consider supporting’ a party with such an agenda, if it shunned violence and fascist imagery.
The results will alarm both PM David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband, who are worried about the rise of right-wing extremists.
In the 12 months to last September, 238,950 migrants were allowed into Britain, the highest figure since records began.
Sixty per cent of people thought immigration had been ‘a bad thing’ for England, against 40 per cent who said it had been ‘good’.
Thirty-four per cent said immigration should be stopped permanently or until the economy improved. The report also found opposition comes from all races, not just ‘white Britons’.
'And 52 per cent of Britons agree that ‘Muslims create problems in the UK’.
Searchlight director Nick Lowles told the Sunday Mirror: ‘The harsh truth is we are in danger of losing touch with the public on race, immigration and multi-cultural¬ism.’
Click to view image: 'Half of Britain'
|Liveleak on Facebook|