An exclusive BMG poll commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society found that just one in six people feel well informed about the upcoming EU referendum.

The results revealed just 12% of the British public feel ‘well informed’, while a further 4% feel ‘very well informed’ about the upcoming referendum. Conversely, almost half (46%) feel poorly or very poorly informed. This falls to 38% among those who say they will definitely vote in the referendum, and rises to 61% among those who say they probably will not vote – suggesting there is a link between how much people feel they know about the referendum debate and how likely they are to vote. A further 39% sit in the middle feeling ‘about average’ in terms of how well informed they feel.

Readers can interrogate the data for themselves by toggling with the menu in the chart below.

A closer look at the data reveals twice as many 55 to 64 year olds feel well informed (21%) about the referendum compared with 18 to 24 year olds (10%). Men are also twice as likely to feel well informed than women (21% cf. 10%). Higher proportions of UKIP supporters also feel either very well or well informed (24%) compared with conservative (19%) and labour supporters (16%).

Readers can interrogate the data for themselves by toggling with the menu in the chart below.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said “These figures are a wake-up call to politicians, parties, public bodies and everyone involved in the referendum to do all they can to boost public knowledge and engagement in this crucial vote. People want a real, informed debate about Britain’s relationship with the European Union, so let’s give it to them.

“We saw in Scotland during the independence referendum what can happen when people feel informed about an important decision and empowered to take part. People are crying out for the full information they need to get to grips with the EU referendum debate, and for the space to have those discussions.

“The campaigns have a responsibility to listen to voters and engage with them, as well as broadcast their views. And in a close referendum, turnout will be key – so it’s in the campaigns’ interest to provide a platform for a rich and stimulating debate.”

An article based on these polling results, released by the Electoral Reform Society, can be found here.

Data tables containing a breakdown of the results can be found here.

As part of its ‘A Better Referendum’ programme being launched today, the ERS will be releasing extensive monthly BMG polling on the EU, including tracker questions on:

  • How informed people feel about the referendum
  • Which campaigns voters have heard from (and how)
  • What percentage of people the public think are likely to vote (wisdom of crowds)
  • How negative/positive both sides are seen in their campaigning

The BMG poll, commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society has featured in The Sun, ITV, Politics Home, Financial Times, Times Red Box, City AM, Herald Scotland, The Mirror, New Statesman and the Open Democracy.

For further details about this poll, or to arrange an interview, contact Will Brett, Head of Campaigns and Communications at the Electoral Reform Society, on 07979696265 or

For any other results from our polling series, please feel free to get in touch with BMG by email or phone.


Lauren Harris – Research Executive



0121 333 6006

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