Over the past few weeks, ‘Brexit’ has gripped the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, with figures as divisive as Donald Trump and others all weighing in on what they think the country should do. And in the last few days, polls conducted in early June have indicated a late swing towards leaving, with all the momentum behind Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave campaign. Qriously has conducted its own independent poll from 13 to 17 of June to get the latest insights into voters’ intentions and also get a sense of how the recent tragic events could influence the outcome of the referendum.
We have run two polls:
- One from 13-16 June (before Jo Cox murder) on 1,992 UK adults
- One on 17 June (after Jo Cox murder) on 1,002 UK adults
Our poll shows Leave with a nearly insurmountable lead over Remain. Among likely voters, 52% back Leave, with only 37% backing Remain. In our first poll, 40% of likely voters planned to back Remain; but on Friday, this had dropped to 32%, with the Remain voters flocking to ‘Don’t know’. This means that previously-declared Remain voters are losing faith, with likely voters increasingly uncertain on Friday.
Among voters who say they are certain of their vote, and unlikely to change their mind, Leave leads by 60% to 40%.
Both Remain and Leave voters are pretty certain of their decision (81%). Only 3.5% could easily change their mind, although our earlier analysis indicates that Remain voters have deserted Remain in large numbers since earlier this week, flocking to ‘Don’t know’ instead – so perhaps those who still indicate Remain are more confident of their choice.
When we asked people to hypothetically bet 100 pounds on the outcome of the referendum, the result was a little closer, with 43% suggesting the country will vote Leave and 36% indicating the country will vote Remain.
Leaving the EU is associated with a decreased risk of terrorism – 30% of respondents feel leaving the EU will decrease terrorism risk, with only 14% indicating that leaving will result in an increased risk of terrorism.
Immigration, too, is a major concern for referendum voters. 60% of voters believe that leaving the EU will result in less immigration to Britain, with just 6% believing that leaving will result in more immigration. Immigration is clearly weighing on voters’ minds.
The tragic murder of pro-Remain MP Jo Cox is unlikely to significantly change that.
According to our first poll since her death on 16 June (10am – 2pm), 93% of UK adults had heard about the news. Leave voters seems to be slightly more aware of the news but that is marginal and unlikely to be statistically significant.
Most likely voters think this event will not change the current likelihood of a Leave or Remain vote. 25% think it might favor Remain or Leave but it’s split (50/50). Interestingly, pro-Remain voters think people will more likely vote Remain and pro-Leave voters think people will more likely vote Leave, suggesting respondents from both ends of the spectrum are viewing the event favorably for their side.
A huge majority of likely voters (88%) are unlikely to change their mind following Jo Cox’s murder. Less than 1% are actually considering changing their mind and 11% are waiting to know more about the motives of the murderer to reassess their decision.
Leave seems to be on-course for a dominant victory, and Jo Cox’s murder might have further weakened the Remain camp.
Overall, it seems clear that Jo Cox’s murder is unlikely to have a significant impact on individual voters.
However, if anything, Jo Cox’s death might weaken the support for Remain. Remain support dropped from 40% of likely voters (Mon-Thurs) to only 32% on Friday, with undecided likely voters increasing by the same amount. This indicates that previously-secure Remain voters (voters who indicated they were likely to vote and likely to back Remain) have wavered in their support. They state they are still likely to vote, but are no longer sure who to support. This represents a strong opportunity for the Leave campaign, and may be the final nail in the coffin for Remain.
However, referendums typically have a late swing to the status quo (Remain in this case), and this effect will likely also take place here. These results are just a snapshot of how people indicate they will vote at this point in time, and, of course, many events could take place over the next week which could change the outcome.
However, the momentum has never been higher for Vote Leave, and shows no signs of slowing.
Qriously surveyed 2,994 adults (18+) over five days (June 13 – June 17). 1,002 interviews (33% of the data) were collected on Friday morning, following the death of Jo Cox.
All data is weighted on gender, age, region, previous voting behaviour (in the UK general election, 2015), and education level. Data is representative of UK adults 18+ in both the 13-16 June poll and the 17 June poll.
Photo credit: USA Today
This story appeared first in USA Today: http://usat.ly/23gyMo4