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New 'Poll of Polls' tracker shows 52% Remain and 48% Leave

28 September 2018 | Tags: European Union, Brexit

A new Poll of Polls on how people might vote in a second EU referendum is launched today by The National Centre for Social Research on its whatukthinks.org/eu website. It reveals that at present 52% of Brits currently want to remain in the European Union, with 48% backing Leave.

A new Poll of Polls on how people might vote in a second EU referendum is launched today by The National Centre for Social Research on its whatukthinks.org/eu website. It reveals that at present 52% of Brits currently want to remain in the European Union, with 48% backing Leave.

The EURef2 Poll of Polls, headed by Professor Sir John Curtice and Ian Montagu, is based on the average share of the vote for ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ in the six most recent polls of voting intention, in a second referendum. By calculating a moving average, the Poll of Polls cuts through the white noise that surrounds individual polling results and provides a more robust measure of how people would vote in a second referendum in which the choice was between Leave and Remain. The rolling project follows the What UK Thinks: EU Poll of Polls, which was used widely by the media and academics to measure public attitudes ahead of the 2016 EU Referendum.

The Poll of Polls indicates that attitudes towards Brexit have changed little since the beginning of the year. Although there have been a few fluctuations over the past couple of months – most notably after the Chequers Agreement – neither side in the Brexit debate has secured any momentum so far as the balance of public opinion is concerned. While the Poll of Polls currently suggests a small lead for Remain, the crucial message is that the public remain fairly evenly split on the issue – just as they have been since at least the beginning of 2018.

EU Poll of Polls

(click to enlarge)

Methodology

The EURef2 Poll of Polls represents the average of the six most recent polls of EURef2 vote intentions. Its current figures are based on two polls by Survation, two by YouGov, one by ICM and one by Kantar. These polls were conducted between 21 August 2018 and 10 September 2018. The Poll of Polls has also been backdated to show the trend since the beginning of 2018.

In contrast to one-off polls, the EURef2 Poll of Polls reduces the chance variations to which all individual polls are subject. This variation may result in the level of support for one side or the other increasing or decreasing by two or three percentage points, despite the balance of opinion within the population as a whole not having shifted at all in actuality.

John Curtice, Senior Research Fellow at The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) comments: “The chances that voters might be asked once again whether or not Britain should leave the EU have grown following Labour’s decision to raise the prospect that it might back holding a second ballot. However, it remains far from certain that a second ballot would deliver the pro-Remain majority that most of those who have been campaigning for another vote seem to anticipate.

True, Remain enjoys a lead in the polls. But that lead remains a narrow one, and there is little sign of it growing. Moreover, it rests quite heavily on the preferences of those who did not vote two years ago, and who by two to one now say they would back Remain. Getting them to turn out to vote in any second ballot might yet prove a considerable challenge.

That said, those in the Conservative party who would like a ‘hard’ Brexit and who are minded to put pressure on Mrs May in next week’s party conference to ‘chuck Chequers’, need to bear in mind that they may not be able to afford to take the risk that failure to back the government tips the country into a second ballot. For it seems that such an eventuality could see them lose the prize they secured two years ago.”

The Poll of Polls can be viewed from 10am on 28th September on https://whatukthinks.org/eu/.