Attempts to convince the public they will be worse off if Britain leaves the EU are falling on deaf ears, according to an Ipsos Mori poll that shows two-thirds of the electorate don’t foresee any negative impact on their personal finances from Brexit. Even when told that they could be personally worse off by up to £500 per year if Britain left the EU, the majority of leave-leaning voters (60%) still said they would vote to leave. The study of 4,000 adults reveals voters think there could be a negative economic impact from quitting the EU, but it is unlikely to hurt them personally. A majority (56%) thinks direct investment into the UK from the EU will fall over the next five years if Britain leaves the EU. Nearly half (46%) think exports to the EU will fall, while one in three think unemployment will increase.
“While there are signs that people expect the economy to be worse off in the five years after a vote to leave the EU, people don’t necessarily think their own standard of living would suffer,” said Ipsos Mori. While 58% think their own standard of living will stay the same over the next five years if Britain leaves the EU, 11% think it will improve, and 22% believe it will be reduced. Young people (aged 18-34 years) are most likely to think leaving the EU will decrease their standard of living (25%) compared with those aged 55+ years (17%). Many voters are confident that Britain will reach new trade deals with EU countries after an exit.
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Over four in ten people (44%) told Ipsos Mori that Britain would be in a strong position to negotiate free trade agreements. This compares with 27% who don’t think this will be the case and 38% who are unsure. The vast majority of leave voters (78%) agree Britain will negotiate free trade agreements with the remaining EU members. The Ipsos Mori findings come amid ICM polling for the Guardian, which found that public opinion has shifted towards the UK leaving the EU, with voters split 52% -48% in favor of Brexit, whether surveyed online or by phone.
Betting odds on a Brexit have also shortened. Last week Ladbrokes was offering 4/1 on an exit, but that has since moved to 5/2. However, Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute, said that despite voter confidence over their own personal finances, focusing on economic arguments can still have a significant impact.
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People don’t necessarily think their own standard of living would suffer. After being given a series of escalating scenarios, 13% switch their position to vote leave when told they would be better off by £500 under Brexit. Additionally, a sizeable group – four in ten (41%) – become unsure about which way to vote The Haze. “The received wisdom has been that messages around controlling borders and sovereignty are the ones [that] resonates with people who want to leave the EU, but this study shows that the issue of how Brexit could affect individuals financially is more likely than immigration to cause uncertainty in how they would vote,” said Duffy.