If the Brexit referendum were held today Radlett would vote Remain by a substantial margin
Just before the 2016 EU referendum we ran an opinion poll here at Radlett Wire. Although the wider constituency, Hertsmere, voted Leave – by a slightly closer margin than the national one – according to our poll Radlett voted narrowly Remain.
In February and March of this year we ran the same poll again. We deliberately asked exactly the same question. It’s the same question, of course, that was printed on the ballot form at the referendum – “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
The overall result increases the Remain margin substantially. If Radlett were to vote again now our poll suggests Remain would win by a comfortable 10% margin (Leave 45.2% – Remain 54.8%).
This time we added a question too: “Is this how you voted in the referendum?”, with possible answers: “Yes, this is how I voted in 2016” and “No, I’ve changed my mind since then.” A total of 11.1% of our respondents (26 individuals) say they have changed their minds about Brexit since they voted in the referendum. And nearly two-thirds of them switched from Remain to Leave. Now this is probably a fairly fragile number – would you admit to changing your mind about a really big decision like this? And the swing that it reveals towards Leave is obviously contradicted by the overall swing in our numbers towards Remain. So this number is likely to remain an intriguing detail rather than a particularly revealing insight
Small print: fewer people participated in our poll this time – 235 against 361 – and, of course, it’s not a valid opinion poll because participants are self-selecting. We can’t tell if the same people participated this time as last time and we can’t be 100% sure that everyone who voted was from Radlett (although we were able to eliminate duplicate votes and spam).
Does all this help us to understand how Radlett will vote in tomorrow’s EU Parliamentary elections? Probably not. For the EU vote the story looks simpler and – as is often the case with Brexit – more complicated at the same time. In this vote – one we were never meant to have – we’re likely to see a big swing to both pro-Brexit parties and anti-Brexit parties. That’ll be helpful, won’t it