London – 17th March – According to a new TNS poll on people’s voting intention in the up-coming EU referendum; Leave is level with Remain although many people remain undecided.
When people who said they intend to vote in the referendum were asked if the UK should remain or leave the European Union, 36% would remain, 36% would leave and 28% didn’t know how they would vote.
This shows a largely similar picture to our previous poll in February that showed Leave was marginally ahead.
Although many are undecided, it does not appear that they are leaning in a particular direction at present. When those who are undecided were asked what outcome of the referendum they generally favoured, we can see that the proportion leaning towards Leave is 17% while Remains’ support amongst undecideds is 21%. Even if we include those that are currently undecided but leaning towards one direction in the voting intention figures, the situation remains finely balanced with 40% currently favouring remaining in the EU and 39% favouring leaving.
When we explore how different age groups would vote, we again see a stronger preference for Remain in younger voters. This becomes less prevalent as people get older and we see the reverse in the 55+ age group. This could prove an advantage for the Leave campaign as historically, older people are more likely to turn out and vote, leaving the Remain campaign to try to energise their young base enough to make a difference.
Although voting intention shows an even split between the campaigns, when asked what they expect the actual referendum result to be, people still believe that the UK is more likely to remain part of the European Union than to leave - Remain 41% (+3), Leave 28 (=), Don’t know 31 (-3)
Commenting on the findings, Luke Taylor, Head of Social and Political Attitudes at TNS UK said: “Although the two sides of the campaign are now level pegging, we are yet to see a decisive move on either side. The major problem for the ‘Remain’ campaign at present is that their support draws significantly on younger people who are traditionally less likely to turn out in elections.”
Notes to editors
The full survey data and further details on the methodological approach can be found here.
TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,216 adults in Great Britain between the 10th March and 14TH March 2016. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion.
The TNS Omnibus uses the Lightspeed GMI access panel as its sample.
The data was weighted to match population totals for age, sex, working status, 2015 General Election voting patterns, education, region and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. No adjustment has been made to the results to account for differential turnout in the referendum. We intend to publish a turnout-adjusted estimate for polls carried out in the last month before the referendum.
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