Monday, 28 March 2016

80% of Green Party Supporters want to Remain in the EU

An opinion poll by YouGov on the voting intentions of British people in the forthcoming referendum on membership of the European Union (EU), shows that 80% of those identifying themselves as Green Party supporters, will vote to remain in the EU. 20% will vote to leave.

I don’t find this particularly surprising and would put Green Party members even more strongly in favour of staying in the EU, than these supporters. The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas has played a prominent role in the campaign to remain in the EU along with virtually all prominent figures in the party.

This is the highest figure for staying in the EU amongst supporters of political parties, although Lib Dem supporters are similarly keen to remain (79%/21%), and there are healthy leads to remain amongst Labour (75%/25%) and SNP supporters (75%/25%).   

This is a survey of over 16,000 people, which is a large sample for polling purposes and should be pretty accurate. The headline figures split 50/50 between remain and leave. I would put a health warning on this though, as YouGov’s online polling has shown voting intentions as close whereas telephone polling by other organisations shows a lead for remaining in the EU of around 10% on average.

The other interesting finding of this poll is the regional breakdown of all voters voting intentions. In the North West, South West and South East of England there is a marginal lead for leaving, but a much bigger proportion of voters are intending to vote to leave in Yorkshire and Humber, East Anglia, West Midlands and East Midlands.

On the other hand, large majorities to stay in the EU are recorded in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London.

Taking the UK as a whole, the aggregate figures are striking: together, London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland divide 60-40 per cent for staying in the EU, while provincial England – that is, all the English regions outside London – divide 53-47 per cent for Brexit.

This throws up the possibility of regional tension after the vote. We know the Scots will likely want to have another referendum on independence if the UK votes to leave, but this might also lead to other areas wanting secede from the UK should we vote to leave the EU. Basically, on this evidence it the is the Celts and Londoners against provincial England, which is a significant split in the UK population and perhaps an indication of a different outlook generally in parts of the country.

Peter Kellner, President of YouGov commenting on the poll and the eventual referendum vote said: ‘It will be a verdict on the kind of country we have become and how we got here.’

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