25 February 2016, 00:00
25 February 2016, 00:00
Brexit - older voters hold key to EU referendum
• Brexit in the balance as Britain’s older voters become more Eurosceptic*
• Nine out of ten over 50s plan to vote in the EU referendum**
Asked how they would vote if an EU referendum were held tomorrow, a Saga poll of 9,539 over 50s showed that 40% said they would vote for the UK to remain a member of the European Union – which is down from 43% in December 2015, and 45% in October 2015. Whilst 43% said they would vote to leave – the same as the last poll conducted in December.
This is the first time that the leave campaign have been ahead in the Saga customer poll. However, there is still all to play for as 17% did not know how they would vote – up from 14% in December. Also 8% of those who said they were thinking of voting to remain, and 7% of those who thinking of voting leave said they could be persuaded to change their mind.
Whilst support for EU membership is gender neutral - 40% for both men and women, men are more likely to want to leave (48%) compared with women (37%). Also just 13% of men were undecided compared with women who were more open minded - with 23% saying that they had still to decide how to vote.
Support for EU membership inclines with socio-economic group – 46% of those in socio economic group AB support EU membership, this declines to 25% amongst those in DE category.
Edinburgh was the most pro-EU city with 56% saying they would vote in favour of staying in. Liverpool was the most pro-EU city in England with 45% wanting to remain in the EU. The most anti-Europe sentiment was expressed in Norwich, Nottingham and Leeds with 48% saying they would vote no. Hull was the city with the most undecided voters (23%).
Saga’s director of communications Paul Green said:
“With nearly one in five over 50s undecided there is all to play for. However, what is certain is that with more than nine out of ten over 50s planning to take part in the referendum, it will be winning the hearts and minds of the nation’s Saga generations that will be key battleground for those campaigning for and against the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Notes to editors:
* EU voting intentions research carried out by Saga Populus Poll of 9,539 over 50s online between 16th and 22nd February 2016.
**Propensity to vote research carried out by Populus Poll of 2,006, representative of all GB adults online between 11th and 13th September 2015.