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Home arrow Marketing Research News arrow Company News and Announcements January-June 2013 arrow Strong Support For Referendum Over UK's EU Membership
Strong Support For Referendum Over UK's EU Membership PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kantar   
18 Feb 2013

Public support is strong for holding a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, according to new research by Kantar company, TNS BMRB.

The research also found that more people would vote to leave the EU than stay in, if a referendum was held tomorrow; however, two in five believe that most of their fellow citizens don't know enough about the EU to make a decision.

The poll, carried out in the days before and after David Cameron's speech pledging an in-out EU referendum after a renegotiation of the UK's membership, found that more than half (54%) of British adults believe that a referendum is the best way to decide on EU membership; Conservative voters are more likely than average to agree (64%) and Liberal Democrats less likely (38%).

There is 41% support for leaving the EU, with 30% in favour of staying in and 22% are undecided. Older people and those who are not working are significantly more likely to vote for leaving.
For those who want to stay in the EU, the main factor is their belief that it is good for trade - 70% agree. For those wishing to leave, the most important reasons were giving the country stronger control of its borders (54%) and reducing foreign interference in the British justice system (45%). A third thought that quitting would "save the UK a lot of money".

A small majority thinks that benefits of EU membership outweigh or roughly balance out the costs. Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are significantly more positive about the benefits of membership, while opinion among Conservative voters is evenly divided.

This research shows that the arguments for and against remaining in the EU are finely poised with a slight majority currently saying they would vote to leave but with the number of undecided meaning that it is more than possible to envisage a vote to stay succeeding. It also shows that if David Cameron wants to succeed in the referendum, he should focus his renegotiation on border controls and reducing interference in criminal justice, as these are the main areas of concern for those who are currently opposed to EU membership.

Download the full data below, or visit the TNS BMRB website for more information.

Kantar also conducted a mobile phone poll in the minutes after David Cameron gave his speech on Europe and measured the Twitter sentiment surrounding the speech.

Last Updated ( 03 Sep 2013 )
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