Two in three (67%) British adults would like to see a referendum held to decide on Britain membership of the European Union – only a quarter (26%) would not like to see such a referendum.
- Conservative supporters are most likely to say they want a referendum – 78% compared to 63% of Labour supporters and 58% of Liberal Democrats.
- People aged 55+ are also particularly keen on having a referendum – 74% compared to 56% of 18-34 year olds, and 69% of 35-54 year olds.
When it comes to voting in the referendum the public are fairly split, half (49%) say they would vote to get out of the European Union while two in five (41%) would vote for Britain to stay in the EU. This represents a swing in favour of leaving the European Union since 2007 when half (51%) were in favour of staying in the EU and 39% said they would vote to leave.This is the highest percentage of the public that feels the UK should leave the EU since March 1983.
- Conservative supporters are the most likely to say they would vote for Britain to leave the EU – 58% compared to 42% of Labour supporters and 36% of Liberal Democrats.
- There are differences in the way people would vote based on age. Younger people – aged 18-34 – are most likely to say they would vote to keep Britain in the EU (51%) compared to 31% of those aged 55+. It follows then that those aged 55+ are most likely to say they would vote to leave the EU (59% compared to 37% of 18-34 year olds).
- There also differences based on social grade. Those from lower social grades are more likely than those from higher social grades to say they would vote to leave the EU: DEs – 63%, C2s – 54%, C1s – 46% and ABs – 36%
For the full trend for Q2. dating back to 1977 please go to: /researchpublications/researcharchive/poll.aspx?oItemId=2435&view=wide
Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 22-24 October 2011. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.
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