Joining or Staying Out of the EU Referendum Voting Intention (16-17 April 2024)

May 8, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Brexit | The European Union | UK Politics | Voting Intention

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Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest Brexit tracker poll in partnership with UK in a Changing Europe finds 59% of Britons say they would now vote to join the EU, one point less than in our previous poll in February.

Altogether, if a referendum on re-joining the European Union were to take place tomorrow, 59% (-1) say they would vote for the UK to join the EU, while 41% (+1) say they would vote for the UK to stay out of the EU.

When those who say they don’t know how they would vote in such a referendum are included, 55% (–) of respondents would vote for the UK to join the EU, 38% (+2) would vote for the UK to stay out of the EU, and 8% (–) are unsure.

81% of those who voted ‘Remain’ say they would vote to join the EU, while 72% of those who voted ‘Leave’ in 2016 say they would vote to stay out. 23% of those who voted ‘Leave’ in 2016 would now vote to join the EU, while 14% of those who voted ‘Remain’ would now vote to stay out. 

67% of those aged 18-24, all of whom were ineligible to vote in the 2016 EU referendum due to their age, say they would vote to join the EU. Majorities of those aged 25-34 (69%), 35-44 (57%), and 45-54 (54%) would also vote to join the EU. By contrast, 50% of those aged 55-64 would vote to stay out of the EU, as would a plurality (48%) of those aged 65+.

In addition, a plurality of 32% of Britons now say the United Kingdom should definitely hold a referendum on the question of Britain’s membership of the EU in the next five years. A further 23% think there should ‘probably’ be a referendum on EU membership within that time frame. 72% of those who voted ‘Remain’ in 2016 think the UK should ‘definitely’ (50%) or ‘probably’ (22%) have a referendum on re-joining the EU in the next five years, as do 36% of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters. 

33% of Britons think a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU should either ‘definitely’ (22%) or ‘probably’ (11%) not be held within the next five years. 55% of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters think a referendum on becoming a member of the EU should either ‘definitely’ (45%) or ‘probably’ (10%) not be held within the next five years, while only 19% of 2016 ‘Remain’ voters think such a vote ‘definitely’ (9%) or ‘probably’ (10%) shouldn’t be held.

At the same time, British voters remain divided on whether the question of the UK’s membership of the European Union is settled. A plurality of 44% (-2), including 67% of 2016 ‘Remain’ voters, think the issue is not settled and should be reopened. Meanwhile, 41% (+2), including 72% of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters, think the issue of the UK’s membership of the EU is settled and should not be reopened.

Regardless of the public’s overall apparent willingness to support another referendum and to vote to re-join, a plurality of the British public continues to feel the prospect of re-entering the European Union is unlikely in the near future.

36% (-1) think it is unlikely that the UK will apply to re-join the EU in the next ten years, including 43% of ‘Leave’ voters and 36% of ‘Remain’ voters. 29% (-1) of Britons alternatively deem it likely that the UK will apply to re-join, a position that is more common among those who voted ‘Remain’ (33%) rather than ‘Leave’ (23%) in 2016.

Finally, if the UK were to apply to become a member of the European Union again, a plurality of 41% (+1) of Britons think it is likely—against 24% (-1) who think it is unlikely—that the Member States of the EU would accept the UK’s application to re-join. 44% of ‘Remain’ voters and 42% of ‘Leave’ voters consider the prospect likely. 

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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