The other divide in EURef polling: the more positive it looks for BREXIT if actual words not used

The other divide in EURef polling: the more positive it looks for BREXIT if actual words not used


The ballot format gives a significant boost for REMAIN

Since August PB has been featuring a regular table on the state of voting intentions for the referendum. For the sake of consistency the only polls that are included are those where the actual wording on the ballot, as above, is used.

Some polls have used different formats like Lord Ashcroft in December in his large sample online poll. He wrote:

“Rather than replicate the referendum question itself we asked people to place themselves on a scale between zero, meaning they would definitely vote for the UK to remain in the EU, to 100, meaning they would definitely vote to leave. Just under four in ten (38 per cent) put themselves between zero and 49, showing they were inclined to remain, and nearly half (47 per cent) gave themselves a score between 51 and 100; 14 per cent placed themselves at 50, meaning they were completely undecided.”

That suggested much stronger towards BREXIT than almost all of the polling using the actual words that will be used in the election.

Ipsos-MORI phone polls have been testing opinion on an EU referendum since 1977 and clearly wanted to continue with their original phrasing that so historical comparisons can be made. To deal with the fact that we now know the wording they are using a split sample with quite striking results as seen in the chart above.

So in each Ipsos-MORI EU referendum polling we have two completely different sets of numbers. The last two from the firm have had the actual REMAIN lead 7% greater than when their tracker format is used. In every case since the wording was finalised REMAIN does better when it is used

ORB have experienced the same difference.

All this leads me to conclude that the agreed referendum format gives REMAIN an advantage.

Mike Smithson

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