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Public Opinion Polls on the European Union


The Times 11 June 2012 - Populus poll

82% of people would like a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday, Dec 11

If EU leaders agree a new treaty to tackle the Euro crisis Britain should hold a referendum on it: Agree: 58%; Disagree: 15%; Don’t know: 26%

Two thirds of Conservative voters agree (68%), compared to half of Labour (50%) and Lib Dem voters (47%). There is a trend by age, with older people more likely than younger people to agree – 70% of people aged 65 and over agree, compared to 44% of people aged 18-24.

The Euro crisis provides an ideal opportunity for Britain to leave the EU altogether: Agree: 52%; Disagree: 26%; Don’t know: 22%

Conservative voters (58%) are more likely than Labour (45%) or Lib Dem voters (48%) to agree.

ICM/Guardian poll 21-23 October 2011 – 70% Want a Referendum; 49% would Pull Out

70% of voters want a vote on Britain's EU membership; just 23% are against.
49% would vote to get Britain out of Europe; just 40% prefer to stay in.

There is a clear majority for staging a referendum in all social classes and regions of the UK. Men and women are similarly keen, although rather more Conservative (71%) than Labour voters (65%) are calling for a poll.

56% of Tory voters would vote to leave, against 34% who would prefer to stay in. By contrast among Labour and Liberal Democrats, there are majorities for staying in Europe, although there are also sizeable minorities among both parties' supporters – 38% and 44% respectively – who would vote to get out.

28% of the youngest voters aged 18-24 would vote to quit the EU; 63% of those aged 65 and over would do the same.

The Eurosceptic side of public opinion is firmer than the Euro-enthusiast element. The 40% who would vote to stay in split between 23% who would definitely vote to stay in and 18% who say they would only probably do so. Among the 49% who want to leave, by contrast, 34% describe their position as "definite", against 15% who would "probably" vote to leave.

The 49%-40% split for pulling out of the EU represents a turnaround in public opinion on a decade ago. When ICM asked a slightly differently worded question in May 2001, by 68% to 19% the public indicated Britain should remain a member, a 49% lead for the pro-Europeans. The most Eurosceptic segment of opinion has grown rapidly: where 34% of all respondents now say they would "definitely" vote for pulling out, in 2001 just 13% said they were "strongly" in favour of pulling out.

German ARD Poll Nov 2011

In a recent ARD poll, 46 percent agreed that "Germany should have held onto the deutsche mark."

Conservative Home September Poll of Conservative members - 60% want to leave the EU:

Which of the following options would be your ideal future for Britain and Europe:

• UK should remain full members and participate in further integration – 4%
• UK should remain full members but reject further integration – 7%
• UK should secure substantial renegotiation of its existing relationship with the EU but remain full members – 29%
• UK should leave the EU altogether and negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU – 60%

Angus Reid poll, July 2011 - 49% want to leave the EU

49% of those polled would vote to leave the EU in a referendum; 25% wanted to stay. 57% believed that being in the EU has been negative, while 32% thought it had been positive.

Angus Reid poll, 6 December 2010: 48% of Britons would vote in favour of pulling out of the EU.

A new Angus Reid poll shows that, in the event of a referendum on the UK's EU membership, 48% of Britons would vote in favour of leaving the EU and 27% would vote to stay in. The results also indicate that 42% of Lib Dem voters and 36% of Labour voters would now vote for the UK to pull out. The poll found that 80% would vote in favour of keeping the pound.

EU's Annual Eurobarometer for 2010

The EU's own Eurobarometer survey, covering 27,000 throughout the EU, showed only 49% support for the EU. In Britain support for the EU was only 27%. Even in Germany only half the population have confidence in the EU.

47% of British voters say they would leave the EU as new referendum campaign is launched. Sept 10

A new YouGov poll has found that 47 percent of the British public would want the UK to leave the EU compared to 33 percent who say they would vote for Britain to retain its membership. The poll comes with the launch of the EU Referendum campaign, which is calling for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.

74% of Tory members think Cameron missed opportunity to repatriate powers and cut EU budget

By Tim Montgomerie, Conservative Home

1,447 Tory members took part in a ConservativeHome poll from after Friday's EU summit until lunchtime yesterday.

The results - reported in the Daily Mail - suggest that members do not agree with David Cameron's claim that he got a good deal for Britain. Cameron said he had "succeeded spectacularly" in capping increased EU spending at +2.9%. 62% of party members disagree. 85% think the EU budget should have been cut.

More significantly, on a forced choice question, 74% think the Prime Minister should have used Angela Merkel's request for a Treaty amendment as an opportunity to get some powers repatriated to Britain. 26% agreed that accepting the Treaty amendment was in Britain's interest. Mrs Merkel is being portrayed as Europe's new "Iron Lady" because of her negotiating triumph.

Asked if they wanted to leave the EU, 49% of members said they did. Of those wanting to stay in (totalling 51%);

•5% said "we should stay in the EU but leave the relationship as it is";
•42% said "we should stay in the EU but aim to get powers back";
•4% agreed "we should be more enthusiastic EU members".

The Definitive Answer on the Euro

A cross-section survey of 1000 people in the UK, made up of Afghans, Albanians, Pakistanis, Indians, Poles, Iraqis, Somalis, Bosnians, Turks, Moldovans, Latvians, Lithuanians, Bangladeshis, Ethiopians, Russians, Congolese, Zimbabweans, Portuguese and Nigerians were asked if they thought Britain should change its currency to the Euro.

99.9% said no, they were happy with the Giro.

Conservative Home poll of Conservative Parliamentary candidates, Aug 09

84% want Cameron to hold a referendum on Lisbon, even if it has already been ratified

60% want a complete renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU

Only 6% want to be "at the heart of Europe"

Com Res Poll for BBC Daily Politics, 19 Mar 09

55% wanted to leave the EU but maintain close trading links

84% said that voters should decide whether any further powers should be transferred to the EU

51% did not think there was any benefit in trade or jobs from EU membership

ICM Poll for the Taxpayers Alliance, 22 May 09

69% want the Government to start ignoring EU rules

60% say that fines for disobedience to our Brussels masters should be ignored

75% want a referednum before any more powers are given to the EU

57% want to take back powers already given to the EU

Channel 4/YouGov poll June 09

39 percent agree with the statement "The UK should withdraw completely from the European Union", compared to 38 percent who disagreed, and 16 percent who said they neither agreed nor disagreed. 22 percent agreed strongly.

Only 27 percent agreed that "The existence of the EU promotes prosperity throughout Europe", compared with 37 percent who disagreed.

80 percent agreed there was some truth in the statement: "A great majority of the important decisions that affect our daily life are taken by the European Union, not by Britain's parliaments, assemblies or councils."

Lisbon Treaty: 82% want referendum in UK, even if all other countries ratify

From: Open Europe Newsletter

A new Populus poll for the Times has found overwhelming support for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, even in a situation where it has already been ratified by Ireland and the rest of the EU. 82% of people agreed with the statement, "If Ireland and other countries ratify the Lisbon Treaty on the future of the European Union, Britain should hold its own referendum on the issue", with 52% strongly agreeing and only 14% disagreeing. 92% of Conservative voters, 76% of Labour voters and 85% of Liberal Democrats voters agreed that Britain should have a referendum on the Treaty. (Times, 13 May)

The poll also showed that 58% of voters believe that the balance of powers between Britain and the EU gives too much power to the EU, including a clear majority of supporters of all the main parties. 28% say the balance is about right and 6% say too little power has been given to the EU. In response to the question, "If the Lisbon Treaty goes through and the new post of President of the EU is established, the job should go to Tony Blair", only 34% of people agreed, and 63% disagreed. 51% felt that Britain benefits from its membership of the EU.

Meanwhile, a poll in Germany found that 70% of people want the Lisbon Treaty to be re-negotiated, and a separate poll found that 73% of Germans agree that "the EU takes too many powers from Germany". (Neues Deutschland, 15 May)

BBC Daily Politics, BBC/ComRes poll, 19 March 09

55% of Britons want to leave the EU; 84% want a referendum before transferring new powers to the EU. A new BBC/ComRes poll shows that 55% of those asked agreed with the statement "I want Britain to leave the EU but maintain close trading links", while 41% disagreed. When asked if the current economic crisis has made people more likely to join the Euro, only 31% agreed and 64% disagreed. On the question of whether Britain benefits overall from membership of the European Union in terms of jobs and trade only 44% agreed with 51% disagreeing. When asked if the British people should decide in a referendum before Britain transfers any further power to the European Union 84% agreed, with 13% against.

Daily Telegraph/YouGov survey, 26 Feb 09

Top issue for an incoming Conservative Government to deal with is immigration. The second issue is reducing the power of the EU. This is a significant change, as in recent years the EU has not been considered a major policy priority, probably because no-one thinks we can do anything about it. Perhaps now we can.

YouGov Survey for the Taxpayers' Alliance and Global Vision, 11 Jan 09

Relationship with the EU: 16% withdraw, 48% looser relationship, 22% stay as is.

Joining the Euro: 64% against, 24% for.

Survey for Radio 4's The World at One. Jan 09:

71% against adopting the Euro, 15% in favour

ITV Tonight Programme, 20 October 08

ITV's Tonight programme staged an EU referendum in Luton, North London. Of three thousand local residents, 63% said they would vote against the Lisbon Treaty, with 27% in favour. 54% voted to leave the EU, with 35% voting to stay in. No wonder the politicians are against referendums.

Red C Poll for Open Europe 29 July 08

A new poll by Irish company Red C, commissioned by Open Europe, has found that 71% of Irish voters are against a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and that, of those who expressed an opinion, 62% would vote "no".  That would mean the "no" lead would increase from 6 points in the recent referendum to a commanding 24 point lead in a second vote.  The poll surveyed 1,000 Irish voters and was carried out between 21 and 23 July - shortly after Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the country. It is the first poll to look at a second referendum.

The poll found that 17% of those who voted "yes" in the recent referendum would vote "no" in a second referendum, while only 6% of those who voted "no" would now vote "yes".  Perhaps most significantly of all, those who did not vote last time would vote more than two-to-one against in a second referendum: 57% would vote "no" and 26% would vote "yes".

67% agreed with the statement that "politicians in Europe do not respect Ireland's no vote".  Only 28% disagreed. 61% disagreed with the statement that "If all of the other 26 EU countries ratify the Treaty in their parliaments then Ireland has to change its mind and support the Treaty." Only 32% agreed. 53% said they would be less likely to vote for Brian Cowen at the next election if he called a second referendum.  In particular, 43% of Fianna Fail voters said they would be less likely to vote for him.

A separate poll by Behaviour Attitudes has found that the majority of Irish voters are happy with the referendum result, including one in 10 of those who voted yes. 54 per cent of those polled said they were happy with the result, while 34 per cent were unhappy, and 11 per cent were undecided. (Irish Times, 25 July)

You-Gov Poll for Open Europe, June 08

Only 29% of Britons support full EU membership

In a YouGov poll commissioned by Open Europe, 24% said "the UK should leave the EU altogether" while a further 38% said that "The UK should stay in the single market but pull out of the other political elements of the EU", making a total of 62% opposed to membership of the EU as it stands. 

54% agreed that "The government should drop the Lisbon Treaty and not try and ratify it".

Just 14% agreed that "The government should carry on and ratify the Lisbon Treaty in the UK". 

Labour voters are 46% to 19% against continuing ratification of the Treaty.

29% said that "The UK should stay in the EU".

38% said that "The UK should stay in the single market but pull out of the other political elements of the EU".

24% said "The UK should leave the EU altogether".

65% agreed with the statement "The EU is out of touch with normal people".

88% said they could not name any of their MEPs.  Among those who did attempt to name some of their MEPs, the most popular choice was "Neil Kinnock"

ICM Poll for Global Vision, Feb 08

74% of those surveyed still want their say on the EU's Lisbon Treaty in a referendum. 

Furthermore, when asked who should control specific policy areas, respondents were overwhelmingly against the European Union. This includes policy areas - such as trade and agriculture - where the EU already has exclusive competence to control policy, as well as those - such as Foreign Affairs and Defence - where the new Treaty envisages the EU playing an increasing role.

This latest survey also confirms previous Global Vision polling, which has shown that a looser relationship between the UK and EU is the option of choice for voters:  24% of respondents wanted to leave the EU; 21% wanted to stay in; and an astounding 50% wanted a looser relationship.

ICM Poll for Global Vision, Nov 9-11, 07

73% wanted a Referendum on the EU Treaty, 18% did not.

23% wanted to leave the EU; 47% wanted a looser arrangement with the EU, based on free trade; 24% wanted us to remain a full member

ICM poll for Open Europe 21/6/07:

86% of voters want a referendum on the new EU treaty.  43% of Labour voters said they will be less likely to vote Labour if a vote is not given.

Ipsos Mori poll, 11/8/07: 

81% of British people want a referendum on the new EU treaty.   Only 17% agreed with Gordon Brown that Parliament should decide.

ICM Poll for Daily Mail 19/8/07:

82% of all voters and 80% of Labour voters want a referendum on the EU treaty.   24% of Labour voters said they would be less likely to vote Labour if there was no referendum.   23% of voters would switch to the Tories if Cameron promises a referendum.   60% of voters believe the EU has too much power over Britain.

ICM Poll for Global Vision 1-3 June 07:

80% wanted a referendum before the constitutional treaty becomes law; 15% were against.

Populus for Global Vision 8-10 June 07:

83% wanted a referendum before the constitutional treaty becomes law; 14% were against.

You Gov Poll for the Sunday Times, Jun 07:

•  70% of British voters think there should be a referendum on the planned EU constitutional treaty, with 17% saying ratification by Parliament is enough

•  Only 21% would vote for the treaty, with 43% against, 33% undecided

Harris Poll for the Financial Times, Jun 07:

A referendum on the new treaty is wanted by 69% of Britons, 75% of Spaniards, 71% of Germans, 68% of Italians, and 64% of French

Eurobarometer poll, 30 Jan 30 to 4 Feb:

Many young Europeans are unhappy with the European Union and some believe it will soon cease to exist:

•  40 per cent of young adults stated that the EU means an excess of bureaucracy and a waste of time and money.

•  Just over a third of people aged between 15-30 see the EU as a threat to cultural identity and diversity.

•  Looking forward 10 years, 13 per cent believe the bloc will no longer exist,

•  Almost 40 per cent said the EU will have more social problems such as unemployment and strikes.

March 07- FT Harris:

Two thirds of Germans prefer the Deutschmark to the euro, and more than half believe that the euro has damaged their economy. More than two thirds of French, Spanish and Italian people also believe that the euro has had a negative economic impact. EU officials reacted in their inimitable style by blaming the voters for being "mixed up".

Oct 06 - ICM poll of 1000b businesses:

52% thought the EU is failing; 54% thought that the cost of regulation outweighs the benefits of the single market, 60% wanted Britain to renegotiate its EU relationship, reducing our involvement to free trade only.

Nov 06 - Power 100 Poll, Times:

81% of UK businesses believed that Britain should not reconsider membership of the Euro.


We will Leave the European Union - Give Us a Referendum