Brexit Basil and Bremain Bridget – How British fictional characters might vote

Chris CurtisPolitical Research Manager
May 29, 2016, 7:00 AM GMT+0

With Voters still divided over the EU Referendum - We asked them how they thought 30 different fictional characters might vote

As we enter the final weeks before the EU referendum politicians, business leaders and even celebrities have entered the campaign. High profile celebrity endorsements have included Benedict Cumberbatch (Remain), Emma Thompson (Remain), Michael Caine (Leave), and Katie Hopkins (Leave).

With this in mind, YouGov asked voters how they thought 30 different fictional characters might vote on June 23rd. The full list, ranging from Postman Pat to Bridget Jones, can be seen below ordered by Net-Remain Score. Those at the top are viewed as most likely to vote Remain whilst those at the bottom as most likely to vote Leave.

Geraldine Granger, better known as The Vicar of Dibley, tops the list as most likely to vote Remain. She is followed by bastion of the establishment Sir Humphrey Appleby (from Yes Minister) and practically perfect Mary Poppins. Doctor Who, a man with the advantage of having seen the future, has a Net-Remain score of +9 with 23% thinking he would to vote Remain and 14% thinking he would vote to Leave.

Former MI5 boss Lord Evans and ex-head of MI6 Sir John Sawers recently entered the debate, coming out against Brexit. It’s perhaps not surprising then that voters think James Bond would also be backing a Remain vote. Defence and security has been a key theme of the referendum campaign with the Remain camp claiming that we are safer working with other European agencies and the Leave camp claiming we would be safer if we had better control of our borders.

On the other side, 16 of the characters named are perceived to be backing Brexit. They include small business owner Basil Fawlty, Home Guard platoon commander Captain Mainwaring and couch potato Jim Royle from the Royle Family. Catharine Tate’s character Joannie Taylor, or “Nan”, is also perceived to be firmly in the Leave camp. This isn’t unusual, polls show the over 65 age group is the most likely to vote Leave although the Remain campaign is hoping to win them over with their “talk to gran” campaign.

Despite polls showing that Scots are more likely to support staying in the trading block, just 11% think Groundskeeper Willie (from The Simpsons) would vote Remain compared to 23% who think he would vote Leave. It isn’t clear however if Willie, who lives in Springfield USA, would be eligible for a ballot - UK nationals living abroad can only vote if they have been on the British electoral register at some point in the past 15 years.

There are also some characters that have divided the public. They include archetypal “swing voter” Bob the Builder with 22% thinking he would vote Remain and 21% thinking he would vote to Leave. Office worker David Brent and Hogwarts Professor McGonagall are also towards the middle of the list.

Mr Bean is the character perceived as least likely to vote with nearly a quarter thinking he would have problems making it to the polling station. He is followed by Staines Gangster Ali G.

We previously tried this experiment in 2012 where we asked how some of these characters might vote in a General Election. Basil Fawlty and Alan Partridge was perceived as a Conservatives, whilst Del Boy and Jim Royale were seen as Labour Voters.

See the full poll results