London – 19 February – A new TNS poll shows a lead for “leave” among those that have made up their mind on how they would vote in the referendum; however a greater proportion said they believe that the outcome of the referendum would actually see the UK remain within the European Union.

When asked if the UK should remain part of the EU, 36% of respondents said they would vote to leave compared to 34% who would remain, 7% who would not vote and a further 23% who remained undecided.

This slight lead for the leave vote increased when those who said they are unlikely to vote in the referendum were removed: Leave 39%, Remain 36%, Don’t know 25%.

Putting aside their own voting intention, respondents were also asked what they thought the actual result of the referendum would be. The poll found that around two fifths (38%) thought the UK would vote to remain in the EU compared with a little under a third (28%) who thought the UK would vote to leave.

The poll also shows that while older voters are more likely to want to leave the EU, they felt more pessimistic towards the outcome of the referendum – 48% of people over 55 said they intended to vote to leave the EU, only 32% believed that this would be the outcome (31% of the age group felt that in the end, the UK would remain within the European Union).

In contrast, younger voters felt strongly that the UK would keep the status quo – both in their voting intention and when asked if they believed that the UK would remain part of the EU (57% of 18-24 year olds who intended to vote wished to remain, 54% also believed that would be the outcome, and only 15% of this age group believed the UK would vote to leave).

Beyond voting intention, our polling shows that most people were dissatisfied by David Cameron’s renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU – only 14% of those polled felt he had been successful, compared to 37% who believed otherwise. In fact, 21% felt that the UK was weaker after the renegotiation than before and 38% believed it had made no difference at all.

When asked about the EU more generally, 43% agreed that the EU had too many member states and that it would be more effective if it was limited to just the nations of Western Europe (40%).

When asked to consider different nations’ influence within the EU, 56% felt Germany held the most. Younger age groups were generally more optimistic about the UK’s influence, with 27% of 18-24 year olds feeling that Britain was the most influential – a figure that sinks to only 1% in the over 55s.

Finally, when asked if the choice of date for the referendum would affect how they voted, 40% did not think it would – although 35% did not know. 

Notes to editors

The full survey data can be found here.

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,120 adults in Great Britain between the 11th February and 15th February 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, region and likelihood to vote in the next General Election.

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