Euroscepticism in Britain has been on the up recently, but new polling suggests that Brits favour remaining in the union.
In the latest YouGov poll, for the Sun, respondents were asked:
“If there was a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, how would you vote?”
45% said they would vote to remain in the union, whereas just 35% said they would vote to leave. YouGov is calling it a record level of the support for remaining in the EU. 3% said they would not vote, and 17% said they would not know.
The last time this question was asked by YouGov, 43% of respondents favoured remaining in the EU, whilst 37% said they would favour a Brexit.
Following this question, respondents were then asked how they would vote if following renegotiations David Cameron said to the people that the country’s interests were now protected. Under these circumstances, 57% said they would vote to remain in the union, whilst just 21% said they would still want to leave. The previous poll for this question had the figures at 54% and 25%, once again demonstrating a bounce in support for the EU.
The new figures suggest that people are more likely to want to stay in the European Union. However, despite this record level of support for the EU, the fact that almost 1 in 5 voters (17%) say they do not know how they would vote in an in/out referendum can only be good news for those advocating an exit. It means that for them - and as well for those wanting Britain to remain a member state - there is a lot to play for. With so many undecideds anything could happen. Additionally, seeing as the referendum is not set in stone and will not be so until potentially after the election, so much could change. Once the starting guns of a referendum campaign are fired, and people are bombarded with leaflets from both sides, only then will we be able to get a more accurate picture of how people will vote.
Another interesting thing about the poll is what happens to those voters intending to vote UKIP. In response to the first question, 7% of UKIP voters say they would like the UK to remain in the EU, however, after hypothetical negotiations the number more than triples to 23%. This suggests that not there is a significant portion of UKIP voters who want a Brexit, but under the right circumstances would favour staying in.
Overall, the poll result is good news for those advocating that the UK remains in the EU, but for those pushing for the UK to leave, there is still a lot to play for.
The full results of the poll can be found here. 1772 GB adults were questioned between the 22nd and 23rd of February.