Seven years on, only one in three Britons can recall the EU referendum result

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 30, 2023, 1:47 PM GMT+0

Remain voters are more likely to remember than Leave voters

There is less than one month to go until the seventh anniversary of the EU referendum. While for many political anoraks the exact result of the vote is etched at the top of their consciousness - YouGov's Twitter replies are just about guaranteed to contain references to the referendum outcome for poll findings that include 52% or 48%, no matter the topic - but in a mini-example of how extensive the public's political attention and memory is, seven in ten Britons can no longer remember the exact referendum result of 52% Leave and 48% Remain.

Only 31% of Britons can now correctly recall that two-number combination. A further 31% admit to not being able to remember the exact result, while 37% give an incorrect answer, the most common being that the Leave margin of victory was even narrower at 51% to 49% (which 16% of Britons overall believe the result to have been).

Remain voters are more likely than Leave voters to correctly state the referendum result, at 39% to 30%. They are also more likely to given an incorrect result (42% vs 36%), while Leave voters are much more likely to say they can't remember the result (by 32% to 20%).

Even among Britons who consider themselves to pay a lot of attention to politics (those who give themselves a score of 8 or higher out of 10 when asked how much attention they pay to politics) only 46% give the correct answer. This falls to 30% for those who YouGov classes as paying medium attention (having scored themselves a 3-7 out of 10) and to 17% of those paying 'low' attention (scoring 2 or below).

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