The in / out debate affecting whether brits will vote at all
13th June 2016
As part of a larger study, Clusters recently looked at how people in the UK think others will vote in the upcoming EU referendum. Are we likely to stay, or are we likely to leave? And will your perception of how others will vote affect your likelihood to turn up on the day?
Our study showed that, regardless of personal opinion, 46 per cent of people believe the rest of the country is likely or certain to vote to stay in the EU when we go to the polls on 23 June. The results were also published in the Mirror.
Despite high profile campaigns on both sides of the ‘Brexit’ argument, the study of more than 1,000 people found that just 31 per cent believe the rest of the country is likely or certain to vote to leave, whilst the remaining 23 per cent are unsure.
Our research also revealed that:
- People in London are the least likely to believe we will leave the EU, with just 4 per cent predicting a certain Brexit. Meanwhile, those in the South West, as well as Yorkshire, are most likely to believe we will definitely leave (22 per cent).
- 44 per cent of Scottish people believe the outcome will definitely be in favour of remaining in the EU, compared to just 22 per cent in the North East.
- Younger people (18-34) are most likely to believe we will certainly stay in the EU (37 per cent).
- Older people (55 +) are most likely to believe we will definitely leave the EU (23 per cent).
- Women are more skeptical when it comes to predicting the vote of others, with 29 per cent unable to say, compared to just 17 per cent of men.
Chris Cowan, Managing Director of Clusters stated: “Other polls are asking people about their own vote but we wanted to know how people think their family, friends, colleagues and neighbours will vote. The results show that the majority of people already have a strong opinion on the referendum outcome.
“We have a situation where many ‘in’ voters may think their vote isn’t needed to influence the overall, whilst ‘out’ voters may question if it’s worth a trip to the polling station if others are casting an opposing vote.”
Dr Kyriaki Nanou, Lecturer in European politics at the University of Nottingham, acknowledges how perceptions of an election outcome can influence voting decisions.
She explains: “Popular perceptions of the outcome could influence decisions about whether it is worth voting or not. Perceptions of a clear victory for one side or the other in the run-up to polling day might depress turnout amongst supporters of what is thought to the side destined to lose. Such perceptions might also sway some undecideds to throw in their lot with the perceived winning side and vote accordingly.”