Voxter Brexit Research for British Future
In our recent interactive survey for British Future, we asked people their voting intention. 12% of people didn't know how they would vote*, and we analysed this group to see who they were, what they thought, and what influenced them.
The Undecided contained a higher proportion of Conservatives, women, and younger people than the population at large. And though there was a higher proportion of non-voters in the general election than our sample, 74% of them did vote, signalling that they are not completely disengaged and disenfranchised, and they may have a significant role to play in the referendum if the campaigns can convince them of their causes.
However, trust remains a massive issue for this group:
71% don't trust information from either campaign and while 13% generally trust more information from the Leave campaign, only 3% generally trust more the Remain campaign, signalling that there is a problem on this side. Could President Obama's recent intervention in the debate make a difference?
Our panel discussed what would and should happen in a future Britain outside the EU. People offered their opinions on topics such as migration, the economy, benefits, and the practicalities and timescale of the withdrawal.
We observed that the Undecided were conservative on immigration, and linked migration, benefits and public services in their primary concerns, and were more unsure and fearful of the economic consequences of Brexit than others. They also cited a lack of reliable information on what Brexit would mean. We also noticed that when people discussed the length of the timescale and complexity of a Brexit, this did not swing opinion towards the Remain camp.
We think President Obama's intervention would not have a decisive impact for the Remain campaign. The undecided are more concerned about immigration than the bureaucratic machinations of a Brexit, or even economic uncertainty. And despite his high profile, and the public's desire for a figure of trust, he is a liberal and many of these people are conservative, and he hasn't talked about migration.
The undecided may be disengaged with the campaigns, but there is a path open for both sides to find convincing arguments, and convincing personalities, to win their votes.
*A further 36% said 'Probably Leave' or 'Probably Remain', leaving only 52% definite in their voting intention. The survey was carried out on 31 March and 1 April.