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First polling conducted since specific demands for EU reform established. Leave marginally ahead of Remain:

First EU opinion polling conducted since specific demands for EU reform were outlined by David Cameron.

 

  • Increase in support for leaving the EU; 53% Leave to 47% Remain
  • Only one of Cameron’s reform demands match the public’s top 4 priorities for renegotiation – restrictions to welfare for new EU migrants
  • Just 22% of those polled believe David Cameron is likely to achieve a good deal with the EU
  • Only 23% believe other EU leaders are taking David Cameron seriously in his demands for EU renegotiation  
  • Survation Polled 2007 adults online over the age of 18 in GB & NI November 9th to 11th. Standard margin of error 2.2%.

Full Data tables for all questions are available here:

Westminster Voting Intention (Change since Survation/HuffPo, Sept 22nd)

CON 36 +1 LAB 30 -2 LD 7 -1 UKIP 15 +2 SNP 5 (NC) GRE 3 (NC) AP 1 (-1)

Survation is a member of The British Polling Council and abides by it’s rules.

Context

On November 5th, Europe Minister David Lidington announced that David Cameron would write to European Council President Donald Tusk on November 11th, finally setting out specific demands for his EU renegotiation.

Broadly briefed to the national press and broadcast media the preceding weekend, by November 9th it had become clear that that the Prime Minister would seek an opt-out from “ever closer union”, more powers to block EU laws, reduce “red tape” regulation for British businesses and restrict benefits for new EU migrants.

 

With these specific demands floated and discussed widely, Survation, on behalf of Leave.EU, conducted online polling with fieldwork from November 9th to 11th covering:

  • The European referendum’s key Leave/Remain question
  • The attractiveness of the reforms themselves
  • David Cameron’s ability to achieve a good deal for Britain
  • Whether success or failure to achieve EU reform would affect Cameron’s intention to campaign for either side in the EU referendum.

 

Headline referendum voting intentions from the poll of 2007 adults over the age of 18 including Northern Ireland (excluding non-voters) are below. Comparisons are to Survation’s September 27th polling for Huffington Post.

 

Imagine there was a referendum today with the question “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” How would you vote?

Remain a member of the European Union – 39%

Leave the European Union – 44%

Undecided – 19%


  

 

Despite being just one poll, Polling companies whilst showing a tightening picture have not shown such high figures for leaving the European Union generally since November 2014.

 

While YouGov and Survation have both shown small polling leads for leave over remain in September this year – this came on the heels of a period of broad media coverage of this summer’s migrant crisis in Europe. So these latest leave/remain figures will not provide comfort for the Prime Minister.

 

While believing his demands will be “difficult” for other member states to agree to, they might prove not be enough for a significant part of the British public, who are potentially looking for a more extensive package of reforms

 

David Cameron’s Demands – Measuring Relative Popularity:

To test the relative attractiveness of David Cameron’s demands to the British electorate, we asked respondents to rank the 5 substantive proposals for reform that he laid out, alongside 3 other popular demands from our previous polling – full UK parliamentary sovereignty over the EU, ending free movement of people into the UK and lowering of the financial cost of EU membership.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 09.37.34

In terms of Cameron’s demands, members of the public rated a proposed limit of access to benefits to EU migrants unless resident for 5 years (not the 4 year figure asked for in the end) as their top choice for what they would like to see renegotiated.

 

This demand really reflects two popular policies rolled in one – both cutting the UK welfare bill and reducing an assumed “pull factor” of economic migration to the UK.

 

None of David Cameron’s other demands made the public’s top four however, with the other three top slots being filled by desire for full sovereignty restoration, border control and reduced financial contributions to the EU.

 

In effect, this leaves almost half of all voters without their top demand for reform present on the negotiating table by David Cameron.

 

This leaves Cameron very heavily dependent on securing limits to welfare benefits in order to present his renegotiation as a popular success.

 

Limiting migrants’ access to benefits was ranked as the top demand by 22% of voters and 27% of undecided voters, showing its potential impact in swinging the referendum in his favour if the Prime Minister is able to secure this demand.

 

However, this has also been widely considered the most difficult demand to get past other EU leaders, thus representing a considerable challenge for the PM.

 

Are Other European Leaders Listening?

Scepticism of the Prime Minister’s ability to secure a “good deal” was apparent in our polling – just 22% of the public feel that Cameron is “likely to achieve a good deal”.

 

Which of the following statements is closest to your opinion?

  • “David Cameron is likely to achieve a good deal with the EU in his renegotiation” – 22%  (16% of undecideds)
  • “David Cameron is NOT likely to achieve a good deal with the EU in his renegotiation” – 56% (42% of undecideds)
  • “Don’t Know” – 22% (41% of undecideds)

 

And if the Prime Minister does not achieve what might be considered a “good deal”

 

More of the public feel David Cameron would campaign to remain in the EU regardless, than believe he would choose to campaign to “leave” in such a case:
In terms of whether he will campaign to remain or leave the EU, David Cameron has said he “rules nothing out” and may consider campaigning to leave the EU if he does not achieve a good deal for Britain. Do you believe that David Cameron would campaign to leave the EU if he does not achieve a good deal?

  • No – he would campaign to stay in regardless – 39%
  • Yes – he would campaign to leave if he did not achieve a good deal 35%
  • Don’t know – 26%

One potential reason for this is a perceived lack of British influence in Europe:

 

Which of the following statements is closest to your opinion?

  • Other EU leaders are taking David Cameron seriously in his demands for EU renegotiation – 23%
  • Other EU leaders are NOT taking David Cameron seriously in his demands for EU renegotiation – 57%
  • Don’t know – 20%

 

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Damian Lyons Lowe

Damian Lyons Lowe

Founder & CEO

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