According to The Engineer’s latest poll on Brexit, readers are now more strongly in favour of remaining in the EU than they were on the eve of the 2016 referendum.
Running from the 5th to the 11th of December 2017, the publication’s latest poll on the topic attracted votes from 1467 respondents, 69 per cent of whom said that they would vote remain if the referendum were repeated.
Although responses are anonymous, and the sample group will not exactly match that of The Engineer’s June 2016 poll, the latest statistics suggest that the proportion of engineers wishing to remain in the EU has grown over the past 18 months. In the June 2016 poll – which attracted 1364 votes – 52 percent of respondents said they were voting to remain, 43 per cent to leave, whilst 4 per cent were undecided.
As well as asking which way readers would vote in a notional re-rerun we also asked whether they had changed their minds since 2016.
The majority of voters – 88 percent – haven’t changed their view since the referendum. The events of the past 18 months have prompted a change of opinion amongst some, however. The largest shift has been seen in leave voters switching to remain (8 per cent). But the poll also shows that some who voted remain have now decided that the UK would be better off outside of the EU, with 4 percent of respondents selecting this option.
Comments on the poll, which were roughly split between remain and leave, retrod some familiar arguments.
Arguing passionately in favour of remaining in the EU, John Sally Swigglebottom rubbished the referendum results arguing that: “to claim that a narrow result in a non-binding referendum represents the will of the people in a campaign that was dominated not by pragmatic arguments but by untruths (particularly by Brexiters) is truly astonishing.”
Others, commenting on the poll results as they unfolded, claimed that it strengthened the argument for a second vote: “We haven’t left yet and why should we if, now furnished with more information, many who voted leave no longer want to?” asked Eric Christison.
On the leave side, Ian Shepherd repeated a familiar mantra: “Lower Tariffs of free trade worldwide should be the aspiration here,” he argued, “Not free trade within a protectionist bloc (which the EU is in reality) which keeps consumer prices artificially high.”
Meanwhile, shedding some light on the mindset of the 4 percent of remainers who would now vote leave, a reader called Edward expressed his disgust at what he views as the EU’s inflexible negotiating stance. “I am no longer a reluctant remainer, I am now a leaver,” he wrote.