A survey by the Populus polling company has revealed that 46 percent of Brits feel negatively about Britain’s continued membership of the European Union (EU), while just 28 percent feel positively about it.
The poll, revealed on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme, showed that 26 percent of Britons surveyed don’t have a strong view of Britain’s EU membership either way – meaning that a lot of Brits are still yet to be convinced over the arguments for and against the UK being in the EU.
Additionally, while 46 percent in total feel negatively, this is made up of 30 percent who believe Britain would be better off outside of the EU, and 16 percent who are resigned to believing that even if UK membership of the EU is a bad thing, that Britain would be worse off outside of it.
The poll can therefore be read in two ways – with eurosceptics claiming a plurality in favour of their position, and those who want the UK’s membership of the EU to continue claiming that in total, 44 percent of Brits believe in continued involvement.
When asked if they would vote to leave or stay, 32 percent said they would vote to leave, whereas 35 percent would vote to stay. The BBC’s Andrew Neil pointed out that the difference between the two sides was “within the margin of error”. Twenty-seven percent are still undecided, whereas 6 percent said they would not vote at all in a referendum on the issue.
The poll was segmented into different psychological groups: hard-pressed anxiety, calm persistence, optimistic contentment, cosmopolitan critics, comfortable nostalgia and long-term despair.
Rick Nye of Populus said that long-term despair, hard-press anxiety and comfortable nostalgia people most want Britain out of the European Union. Optimistic contentments tend to be more pro-EU, though also more likely to identify with the Conservative Party.
Nye also noted that Scotland tends to be more pro-European Union, but euroscepticism is beginning to pervade.