Majority of Brits want an EU referendum, and most want it in 2016

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YouGov's poll, for the Sunday Times, suggests that there is a large demand for an EU referendum, with most in favour of one sooner rather than later.

Respondents were asked:

"Would you support or oppose holding a referendum on Britain's relationship with Europe within the next few years?"

A large total of 57% said that they would support having such a referendum, over double the 26% who said they would oppose such an outcome. Additionally, 17% said they did not know.

The highest area in favour of a referendum was the 'Midlands/Wales' with 61% saying they would like to have a referendum, almost three times the 23% saying they would not. The lowest area in favour of a referendum was Scotland with 45% saying they would like a referendum, however, this is still more than the 41% who said they would oppose such a referendum. 

This suggests huge demand for a referendum on the EU, with the rise of UKIP highlighting this further. Whether or not the country will get such a referendum is yet to be seen, but it is possible that May's eleciton could mean that the British public are asked about their relationship with the EU.

Additionally, the poll also asked respondents:

"David Cameron has said if he wins the election he will renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU and then hold a referendum on whether Britain should remain a member on the agreed terms in 2017 Which of the following best reflects your view?"

38% (the highest) said they would prefer a referendum sooner rather than later, in 2016. Additionally, 20% said they would like a see the referendum take place in 2017. Furthermore, 22% said it would be better not to have a referendum in the next parliament, whilst just 3% said they would like to see a referendum take place in 2018 or beyond.

Overall, the polling suggests that the British public are in favour of having a referendum on the UK's relationship with the EU. It also indicates that the most preferred option is to have said referendum sooner rather than later. If David Cameron gets his way, a referendum will take place later after renegotiations, but if UKIP managed to influence that decision then 2016 could be the year.

Brits are split over their feelings towards the EU, but it's clear that most want the country to have a say on the matter.

The full result of the YouGov poll can be found here. 1620 GB adults were interviewed between the 12th and 13th February.


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