Public opinion on the EU referendum question: a new approach

Document type
Cabrera-Alvarez, Pablo; Jessop, Curtis; Wood, Martin
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
20 June 2016
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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NatCen Social Research has developed a new and experimental approach to measuring public opinion, which may help to predict the likely EU referendum result.

In the run up to the general election in 2015, the majority of opinion polls suggested a close vote and a hung parliament. In fact, the result was a clear Conservative majority. 

Subsequently, there was considerable debate about the value of polling and the influence that polling has on the nature of political debate in the run up to elections.

Fieldwork for the EU referendum was conducted over four weeks from May 16th to June 13th 2016. In that period it was estimated that the electorate would have voted to remain in the EU, with a margin of 6 percentage points: 53% for Remain compared to 47% for Leave.

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