Independent / Sunday Mirror May 2016 Poll
Voting intention poll for Independent and Sunday Mirror including questions on the EU referendum

Boris Johnson is trusted to tell the truth about Europe by twice as many voters as trust David Cameron, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent. By a two-to-one margin, 45 per cent to 21 per cent, voters say that Mr Johnson is “more likely to tell the truth about the EU” than Mr Cameron.

By a smaller margin, 39 per cent to 24 per cent, campaigners for Leave generally are considered “more likely to tell the truth” than campaigners for Remain.

THE REFERENDUM CAMPAIGNS

  • Following key speeches this week, Britons are more than twice as likely to say Boris Johnson would tell the truth about the EU than David Cameron (45% v 21%).
  • Conservative voters also say Boris Johnson is more likely to tell the truth about the EU than the Prime Minister (42% v 27%).
  • Similarly, Britons tend to say the campaigners for leaving the EU are more likely to tell the truth than the remain campaigners (39% v 24%), although a significant minority say they don’t know (38%).

THE EU REFERENDUM

  • The British public remain divided over whether they would be personally better off if Britain left the EU or remained part of it (29% v 33%). Around two in five (38%) say they don’t know how the referendum outcome would personally affect them.
  • There has been a rise in the proportion of Britons saying national security would be better if Britain left the EU - 42% say it would be stronger if Britain left, compared to 38% who say it would be stronger if Britain remained. This represents an increase of 7 points from March in favour of leaving (35% in March 2016).
  • However, attitudes towards immigration are clear; British adults are more than twice as likely to say the government could control Britain’s borders better if it left the EU (57% v 27% if Britain remains).

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE EU

  • There are mixed levels of knowledge about the EU among the British public.
  • For example, around four in five adults (78%) correctly say the UK pays more into the EU budget than it gets back. However, three in five (61%) British adults falsely believe most British laws have to be approved by the European Parliament.
  • There are no differences between supporters of the two main parties, with similar proportions of both Conservative and Labour voters selecting the same option for each statement. However, Conservative voters are more likely than Labour voters to believe that most British laws have to be approved by the European Parliament, despite this not being the case (64% Conservatives v 52% Labour).

Findings in detail:

The EU Referendum

Q: For each of the following pairs of statements, which comes closest to your own opinion? 

Option 1 % % Option 2 Don’t Know
I would be personally better off if Britain left the EU 29% (+2) 33% (+4) I would be personally better off if Britain remained in the EU 38% (-7)

Base: GB adults (n=2,043). Results in brackets are changes tracked from February 2016 (n=2,018).

  • Conservative voters remain split on whether they would benefit personally if Britain left the EU (29% v 33% remain).
  • Following Jeremy Corbyn’s speech this week on the importance of young voters in the referendum, 18-24 year olds are most likely to say they would be personally better off if Britain remained in the EU (55% v 20% leave).

o    Older voters aged 65+ are the opposite and are more likely to say they would be personally better off if Britain left the EU than remained (34% v 18%).

 

Option 1 % % Option 2 Don’t Know
The British government could control Britain’s borders better if it left the EU 57% 27% The British government can control Britain’s borders better by staying in the EU 16%
Britain’s national security would be stronger if Britain left the EU 42% (+7) 38% (-4) Britain’s national security is stronger by staying in the EU 19% (-4)

Base: GB adults (n=2,043). Results in brackets are changes tracked from March 2016 (n=2,059).

  • Labour voters are split over whether the government could control Britain’s borders better if it left or stays in the EU (44% v 40%).

o    In comparison, voters from every other major party are more likely to say the government could control Britain’s border better if it left the EU. For example, Conservative voters are more than twice as likely to say this (63% v 25% who say it would be better if Britain stayed in).

  • Conservative voters are now more likely to say Britain’s national security would be stronger if Britain left the EU (47% v 37% remain). This represents an increase of 8 points in favour of leaving from March 2016 (39% in March).

o    Labour voters remain far more likely to say national security is stronger by staying in the EU (52% v 31%). However, the proportion of Labour voters saying that national security would be stronger if Britain left the EU has increased since March by 9 points (22% in March).

The Referendum campaigns

Q: For each of the following pairs of statements, which comes closest to your own opinion?

 

Option 1 % % Option 2 Don’t Know
David Cameron is more likely to tell the truth about the EU than Boris Johnson 21% 45% Boris Johnson is more likely to tell the truth about the EU than David Cameron 35%
The campaigners for remaining in the EU are more likely to tell the truth than the campaigners for leaving the EU 24% 39% The campaigners for leaving the EU are more likely to tell the truth than the campaigners for remaining in the EU 38%

Base: GB adults (n=2,043).

  • Echoing sentiment shared by Conservative supporters, Labour voters think Boris Johnson is more likely to tell the truth about the EU than David Cameron (37% v 25%). Indeed, voters from each of the major parties listed say Boris Johnson is more likely to tell the truth about the EU than David Cameron.
  • Conservative voters are almost twice as likely to believe the leave campaigners are more likely to tell the truth about the EU than the remain camp (41% v 22%). Labour voters are more divided but lean towards the remain camp (35% believe remain are more likely to tell the truth v 29% leave).

Public knowledge of the EU

Q: Please indicate whether you think each of the following statements about the EU is true or false? 

Option TRUE FALSE
The UK pays more into the EU budget than it gets back 78% 22%
There are 29 countries in the European Union 73% 27%
UK citizens need a passport to get into another EU country 71% 29%
The European Parliament meets 12 times a year in Strasbourg and the rest of the year in Brussels 66% 34%
Most British laws have to be approved by the European Parliament 61% 39%
The Treasury estimates that if Britain leaves the EU it would cost the average household £4,300 a year by 2030 60% 40%
The EU has an official anthem 30% 70%
The EU is responsible for setting taxes in Britain 20% 80%
The EU has an official army 14% 86%

Base: GB adults (n=2,043). Statements in green are true, statements in red are false.

  • Three in five (60%) Britons correctly identify that the Treasury estimates that if Britain left the EU, it would cost the average household £4,300 a year by 2020.
  • British adults are unaware of the administrative side of the EU; around three quarters (73%) falsely believe there are 29 countries in the European Union. In addition, seven in ten (70%) are unaware the EU has an official anthem (which is of course, ‘Ode to Joy’).
  • UKIP voters are far more likely than voters from other parties to say most British laws have to be approved by the European Parliament (80%), despite this not being the case. UKIP voters are also the only group with a majority selecting ‘false’ when asked about the Treasury estimation that Brexit would cost the average household £4,300 a year by 2030 (61% false v 39% true).

Voting intention

The Conservatives have maintained their lead over Labour, and this now stands at 6 points.

Con      36% (+1)

Lab       30% (NC)

LD        8% (NC)

UKIP     17% (+1)

Green   4% (NC)

SNP      5% (NC)

Other   1% (NC)

CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOU
Date Published
14th May 2016
Categories
Client
Sunday Mirror / Independent
Methodology
ComRes interviewed 2,043 GB adults online on 11 and 12 May 2016. 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. Full tables on the ComRes website.

SHARE THIS STORY