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“Yes” has big lead in UK’s EU referendum poll

A new ComRes / Daily Mail poll shows the UK staying in the European Union remains more popular than pulling out of the EU. Half (51%) of Britons say they would vote to stay in the EU if there were a referendum tomorrow, while a third 33% would vote to leave.

However, there does appear to be a slight difference in the result when using the referendum question wording proposed by the Conservative government last week. When asked, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?”, 58% say Yes, compared to 31% who say No.

The poll also found that the government’s proposed law on trade unions requiring a 50% turnout for strike ballots to be legal receives majority public support (62%), as does cutting the total households can receive in benefits (55%) while replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights and English votes for English laws (EVEL) are supported by more Britons than oppose them, but neither enjoy the backing of more than half of the public.

Tom Mludzinski, Head of Political Polling at ComRes said: “We now know the government’s proposed wording for the referendum itself, and this first poll since the General Election shows the “Yes” (or “Stay In”) side with a significant lead. As ever, an election is won by those who turn up. The “Yes” side is strongest among younger generations who are least likely to vote, but also among the more affluent who tend to turnout. These key groups will be the ones to watch as the referendum draws closer. Building up support among those who are unlikely to vote, as Labour did, will ultimately end in failure. Targeting the regular voters is the key to success in this referendum.”

Applying the ComRes Voter Turnout Model appears to have little impact at this early stage on the referendum question. The “No” figure remains at 31% while “Yes” is on 59%. This will be an important figure to watch as the referendum draws clearer as it will show any potential movement among the groups that are known are more likely to turnout and vote.

· Young Britons are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to vote “Yes” in a referendum: 73% of 18-34 year olds compared to 38% of those aged 65+. Around half (47%) of older Britons (65+) would vote “No”.

· There is also a clear difference by social grade, with support for “Yes” being significantly higher among AB social grades than those in lower, working class groups (DE): 73% and 48% respectively.

· Labour voters are more pro-“Yes” than Conservatives (73% to 58%), although even among Conservative voters only a third (33%) would vote “No” to remaining in the EU.

ComRes interviewed 1,000 GB adults by telephone between 29th and 31st May 2015. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. Voting intention figures are calculated using the ComRes Voter Turnout Model. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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