Survation’s September polling on the EU referendum caused a stir when it showed outies beating innies by a statistically insignificant 3 percentage points. There is further reason to not worry.
Survation’s Issue Poll, usually done for the Mail on Sunday (splutter!), available here, is really very good, providing us as it does with partisan, gender, socio-economic and regional break downs of where the outies and innies lie. Wales and Scotland comes out as the most pro-EU with London the only English ‘region’ that (marginally) comes out as pro-union. The midlands are sharply anti as is the non-London south. One thing that interesting is how much Scotland appears to have become so much closer between INs and OUTs. Mischief on the part of YES voters to prompt Sturgeon to call for a new independence referendum? The UK voting to leave the EU is, according to Sturgeon, a trigger for a new vote on independence. Given England consistently appears to vote to leave, it comes down to the smaller members of the union to vote to stay.
This is the first poll that shows the OUTs in the lead, albeit well within the margin of error. Moreover, most of the undecideds appear to be women, who also appear less likely to be outies. It’s concerning that the North is also reliably leaning OUT, but there are two issues about the regional breakdown. One, it doesn’t take into account an urban-rural split. The only city it samples is London. Surely, polls done in the country’s other big cities will provide a view to what is happening in these very large regions called ‘the North’ and ‘the Midlands’.
More importantly on this political geography front, in a good bit of news for the innies, is that this poll does not take into account Northern Ireland. This is important given that Ulster appears to be the most pro-EU ‘region’ in the country by a European country mile (58% opting to stay). The last time I checked our friends from Ulster are still allowed to vote in these things.
We wonder if Northern Ireland are taken into consideration in future polls. If we look to the other polls done it is interesting that IPSOS-MORI has still a big lead for the innies. It is not clear why they’ve got such different numbers and, with this, if Northern Irish voters have been sampled.