While the predictable right-left divide on the European Union remains, differences across geography and class make for a complex referendum campaign
The UK’s overall voting intentions could not be closer – with a 51-49 split in favour of the European Union – but splits between different groups of voters could hold the clue to the referendum’s result.
While there seems to be no gender gap at all, the issue splits the population down age, political leanings and education.
YouGov says that its research shows that “one of the biggest challenges facing the pro-EU camp will be to enthuse the under 30s, who are mostly pro-membership but traditionally least likely to vote at all, while the ‘leave’ camp needs to maximise turnout among Brexit-inclined working-class voters”.
But what else does it indicate?
Scotland is the most pro-EU region in the UK
The survery shows that Scotland is the region most in favour of staying in the EU, with 60 per cent of respondents wishing to remain.
The least positive region about EU membership is East Anglia where 53 per cent want to leave.
The figures could be crucial in the event of a “Brexit” vote as Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP First Minister, has previously stated that demand for a second independence referendum could be “unstoppable” if taken out of the EU against its will.
London was the second most enthusiastic region for EU membership with a 55-45 per cent split.
Overall six UK regions back continued EU membership compared to five where a majority of voters wish to leave.
East AngliaWest MidlandsYorkshire and HumbersideSouth West EnglandSouth East EnglandNorth West EnglandWalesEast MidlandsNorth East EnglandLondonScotlandRemain lead (%)-10-505101520Remain lead: -6Remain lead: 6Remain lead: -4Remain lead: -2
East AngliaWest MidlandsYorkshire and HumbersideSouth West EnglandSouth East EnglandNorth West EnglandWalesEast MidlandsNorth East EnglandLondonScotlandRemain lead (%)-10-505101520
The old and young generations can’t agree on the EU
There is a huge gulf among young and older voters over the European issue – with almost two in three young voters backing the European Union.
63 per cent of those aged between 18-29 want to remain in the EU, while 56 per cent of those aged over 60 want to leave.
The middle-aged population are almost evenly on the issue.
As older voters are more likely to vote, this could be good news for the “leave” campaign.
-20-100102030Remain lead (%)18-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Greens love the EU while Ukip loathe it
The poll also examined the voting intentions of voters for all the major parties.
Conservative and Labour voters were the most divided on the issue – withTories erring towards leaving the EU and the majority of Labour voters wishing to remain.
Unsurprisingly, among Ukip voters, the EU is incredibly unpopular, with 72 per cent wishing to leave. This comes as Nigel Farage wrote in The Telegraph: “leaving the EU is more important than party politics”.
More surprisingly, however, 28 per cent of Ukip voters still back the EU – despite Ukip’s deputy chairman Suzanna Evans saying the figure is “zero”.
Green party voters were most in favour of continued EU membership.
UkipConservativeLabourSNPLib DemGreenRemain lead (%)-60-40-2002040
University educated people are most likely to want to stay in the EU
When it comes to social class and education, those with university education are most likely to be pro-EU – with 62 per cent of graduates wishing to remain in Europe.
GCSE highest qualificationA level/ equivalent qualificationUniversity graduatesRemain lead (%)-20-100102030
Those belonging to the AB social class – usually in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations – support the EU by 56 to 44 per cent.
Meanwhile, people in the lower DE and C2 social grades have net dissatisfaction with the institution. Ukip has attempted to re-brand itself as aparty for the working class, and so it will try and boost turnout in this eurosceptic group.
-10-5051015Remain lead (%)ABC1DEC2Remain lead: -6Remain lead: 8Remain lead: 12