An online petition launched by a think-tank, seeking a House of Commons debate on the issue of of immigration, has achieved 100,000 signatures.

Migration Watch, in its petition titled "No to 70 million," urges "preventive action" and seeks to tackle the rising population in the next 20 years.

According to the e-petitions rule, if there are more than 100,000 signatures on a particular topic on the government Web site, for which it is accountable, the issue qualifies for a debate in the House of Commons.

A YouGov poll, conducted for the Migration Watch, revealed that almost 80% of the population in England thought the country was "overcrowded." Though only 3% of the population believed that the country "is not crowded," 15% of the people echoed England "is about right."

The poll figures suggested higher results for London (85%) and the rest of the South England (81%) while the rest of England and Wales were at about 76%.

The poll coincided with their e-petition launched on Nov. 1 which asked the government to take a check on the UK population under 70 million. The poll also asked for help in reducing the net immigration to 40,000 a year in the future.

With the earlier population figure standing at 62.3 million in mid-2010, citizens are worried to cross the 70 million mark within 16 years.

The Migration Watch chairman, Sir Andrew Green, said: "This petition is a wakeup call for the political class... To leap over the 100,000 hurdle in just one week is truly remarkable. I hope that the public will continue to sign up so as to send an unmistakable call for action."

He also said the ministers were not obliged to debate the petition.

"The House of Commons is not obliged to debate the petition but it would be amazing if they tried to brush aside such a powerful expression of public opinion on an issue crucial to the future of our society. We hope the public will continue to sign up and add to the numbers so that Parliament can be left in no doubt about the deep well of public concern that exists around this subject," he said.