Latest News / EU leaflet drop ‘appears to have had little effect’
EU leaflet drop ‘appears to have had little effect’
25 May 2016
Voters feel slightly less informed about the European Union referendum than they did before receiving the taxpayer-funded Government leaflet, a poll has indicated.
The BMG Research poll for the Electoral Reform Society found the percentage of people who said they'd been contacted about the EU referendum by leaflet rose from just 25% in March to 63% in the weeks following the publication of the controversial £9.3 million document
But the percentage of people who said they felt either well informed or very well informed fell from 23% at the end of March to 21% by the end of April.
The survey was carried out between April 21 and 26, after the official Government leaflets starting landing on doormats across the country.
The percentage of people who said they felt poorly or very poorly informed fell from 39% to 38% between the end of March and the end of April, with some 42% saying they had an “about average” level of information, up from 38%.
Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), said: “Leaflets are all well and good, but clearly they are not enough to create the kind of genuinely informed and engaging EU debate the public deserves – as this poll demonstrates. We need a dynamic campaign rather than just one-sided mail-drops – voters want to be able to compare information from both sides so that they know the full story.
“These findings show that voters’ need for an informed debate isn’t being met by the campaigns at present, and the Government’s huge leaflet drop appears to have had little effect. The lack of a well-informed conversation isn’t because people don’t care – 69% of people say they are interested or very interested in the referendum. So there is huge scope for creating a lively national conversation.
“As well as hearing the clear facts and arguments from both sides, we want to see a vibrant referendum debate – not just one-sided government leaflets but conversations in communities, colleges and workplaces across the UK about this crucial issue. That’s what got people out to vote in the Scottish independence referendum, and that’s what we need across the UK between now and June 23.”
The ERS has launched an online tool to help people organise referendum debates and find out facts about the issues dominating the campaign.
:: BMG Research surveyed 1,521 British adults online between April 21 and 26.
Photo from Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire