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A Gransnet Survey: the EU referendum

EU survey

Ahead of the much-anticipated EU referendum on 23 June, we take a look at some of the main factors affecting the over 50s vote. From migration to sovereignty to news coverage (and trustworthiness), we find out which camp - 'Remain' or 'Leave' - is more popular here at Gransnet.     


Overall consensus

Of the 1,000+ gransnetters who took part in the survey, 52% intend to vote to leave the EU against 38% who will vote to remain - rising to 58% (versus 42%) among those who say they will definitely vote and are sure about where they will place their cross come June.

This cohort of voters is very decisive, with only 7% saying they don't know how they will vote, and 70% saying they are confident about making a well-informed decision.


Main concerns when choosing how to vote

Their main concerns when choosing how to vote are the economy (the single most important factor for 27% of the respondents), migration (25%) and sovereignty (22%). Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, one-third (33%) think the UK would be safer if it left the EU.

"We do not need to be told by Strasbourg how to treat people; we are a decent and law-abiding nation, for the most part, with a record of tolerance and justice." - survey respondent


Sources of information - can they be trusted?

Gransnetters seem to have limited faith in sources of information about the issues behind the referendum. The most trusted sources are major national news broadcasters (trusted by 41%) and the Bank of England (trusted by 40%), but 80% think British politicians are using the campaign to stake out positions for personal or political advantage.

"I think it will be hard to find any really objective information in the next few weeks." - survey respondent


Does coverage make a difference?

33% claim that their views stand firm and that media coverage and discussion will make no difference to how they intend to vote, while 31% say that their views have been reinforced by media coverage. Only 7% say that the coverage has actually helped them to make up their minds after initially being undecided.


1975 EU referendum veterans - have views changed?

With a mean age of 60, many respondents are old enough to have voted in the 1975 referendum. Of those who did:

  • 38% voted 'remain' then but will now vote 'leave'
  • 36% voted 'remain' then and will now vote 'remain'
  • 22% voted 'leave' then but will now vote 'remain'
  • 4% voted 'leave' then and will vote 'leave' now

"I think that people who remember the time before Britain joined the EU are less frightened of the thought of going it alone. Younger voters have only ever known a life in Europe." - survey respondent

"We voted originally to enter a common trading market. The EU has evolved by stealth and we didn't really notice what was happening until it was too late. I feel we were conned." - survey respondent


Mumsnet and Gransnet CEO Justine Roberts said: "The complex issues behind the decision over whether to leave the EU are causing head-scratching for a lot of voters, but Gransnet users are pretty decisive whichever way they’re voting. Those who say they will vote to leave seem sanguine about how the UK would fare outside the EU."

Survey of 1,024 Gransnet users, conducted 24 March-5 May 16. The data is not weighted.










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