Edinburgh - 4 February - The first TNS Poll of 2016 shows that despite the gap starting to narrow, there is still strong support to remain in the European Union among Scottish voters.

The poll of 1016 adults in Scotland shows that one in five (21%) would vote to leave the European Union – a vote share slightly up from 19% in May 2015 and 18% in September.  In contrast, 44% would opt to remain in the EU, (down from 49% in May 2015 and 47% in September 2015).  

However, almost a third of voters (29%) do not know how they would vote – a number that hasn’t changed since last September.

Commenting, Tom Costley, Head of TNS Scotland said, “With the referendum on membership of the EU looking increasingly likely to take place in 2016, people may be starting to focus on Britain’s membership of the European Union, despite  concerns expressed by the First Minister about holding the referendum in June so soon after elections to the devolved assemblies. With such a high level of ‘Don’t Knows’ it’s still all to play for, and there remains a positive view of the European Union in Scotland.”

The latest poll also covered the Holyrood elections and it is important to note that with fewer than 100 days to go until polling day, we are now reporting voting intention among those expressing a preference and who are certain to vote on the day. This shows that the SNP lead remains significant, among those expressing a preference and certain to vote:

  • constituency vote share:  SNP 57%, Lab 21%, Con 17%, LD 3%, Other 2%.
  • regional vote share: SNP 52%, Lab 19%, Con 17%, LD 6%, Green 6%

More people are saying they are certain to vote (65%), reversing the trend which has been evident in the past few months, increasing from 58% in December and back to a level not seen since September 2015.


Notes to editors:
The full data tables are available here.

A sample of 1016 adults aged 16+ was interviewed across Scotland over the period 6th – 25th January 2016.

The voting intention figures in this latest poll are based on those expressing a voting preference and who say they are certain to vote in the election on 5th May, whereas previous Holyrood voting intention polls published by TNS in 2015 were based on all those expressing a preference.

Although the franchise is currently limited to those aged 18 and over, the voting age is expected to fall to 16 for the 2016 Holyrood election, so TNS has decided to interview those aged 16 and over.

To ensure the sample was representative of the adult population of Scotland, it was weighted to match population estimates for working status within gender, age, social grade and Scottish Parliament region, and to match turnout and share of vote from the 2011 Holyrood election (constituency vote) and the 2015 General Election.

All interviews were conducted face-to-face, in-home using CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) and quota sampling.

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