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80% of Britain’s students are set to vote to remain in EU

More than 80% of Britain’s students are set to vote Remain and tip the balance against Brexit, new research finds

Barack Obama has more sway than Boris Johnson with Britain’s leaders of tomorrow

An overwhelming majority of British students don’t back Brexit and believe the UK should remain a member of the European Union when the referendum takes place on 23rd June, according to new research by Debut. The poll, which surveyed 12,000 students from Debut’s user base, revealed that 81% vote UK to Remain in the EU, whilst only 10% plan to vote Leave. Just 9% weren’t sure or don’t intend to vote.
It has been stated that if 60% of the UK turn out to vote on polling day, Leave will win given that the older generation tend to vote more than the young (a poll by ORB[i] states 54% of 18-24 year olds will vote), but for the first time this evidence suggests the student contingent could swing the campaign in the opposite direction.
In a further blow to the Brexit campaign, the survey also revealed that Barack Obama’s intervention could be more decisive than first realised. The US President has more influence over British students’ political decisions, than the likely candidate for Conservative leadership and ex-London Mayor, Boris Johnson. Over half (55%) of students felt that Barack Obama would sway their political decisions compared to 37% for Boris Johnson, whilst 8% felt that one of the world’s most powerful popstars, Beyoncé, had the most bearing on their political decisions.
The research revealed that career concerns are a huge motivating factor for students around the referendum. Almost 4 out of 5 students (77%) believe the UK leaving the EU will impact their job opportunities. Only 14% didn’t think there would be any impact and 9% were unsure.
Despite the large majority of students wanting to remain in the EU, 84% believe the UK should still have its own currency and voted that human rights (31%), sovereignty (27%) and job opportunities (23%) mattered most to them. This was shortly followed by security (13%). Immigration and information sharing mattered least to students, with 3% respectively.
“People expect students to be apathetic towards political and societal issues, but our research shows otherwise. It reveals a highly motivated group of voters that look set to determine the referendum outcome. After all, this is the generation that will have to live with the consequences far longer than their parents or grandparents and their futures depend on it,” said Charles Taylor, CEO of Debut.

  • Date published: 19th May 2016
  • Written by: Ian Thomas



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