William Eichler 17 June 2016

EU referendum could be perceived as ‘inconclusive’, campaigners warn

Referendum could see low turnout and a ‘worrying demographic divide’—factors that may lead to it being perceived as ‘inconclusive’, say campaigners.

The Electoral Reform Society commissioned a poll by BMG Research which revealed 67% of wealthier ABC1 individuals say they’ll definitely vote, compared to just 55% of those from poorer C2DE backgrounds.

They also found just 62% of people say they’ll definitely vote on 23 June.

An age gap is also apparent. BMG Research discovered just 47% of 18-24 year olds say they’ll definitely vote, compared to 80% of those aged 65 or older.

Only 22% of people feel ‘well’ or ‘very well’ informed about the referendum.

In order to get the electorate more engaged with the debates, the ERS and leading universities have created a new online ‘toolkit’ featuring both official campaigns and experts, Better Referendum, to help inform groups of voters ahead of the vote.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the ERS, said: ‘These findings are deeply concerning, and show there is a real risk of a low turnout and a demographic divide when voters go to the ballot box on June 23.

‘A poor turnout alongside a close result poses the risk that people will view the decision as inconclusive, and we could see calls for further referendums or questioning of the validity of the result from either side.’

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