European Attitudes towards the EU : Britain stands out

ORB International, as part of the WIN/Gallup International network of polling agencies has surveyed attitudes towards the European Union - does the country want to stay in or leave, what is the appetite for the Euro across Western Europe?

New research from ORB International has found that should there be a referendum on Europe in the forthcoming Parliament there is nothing to choose between the two camps.

Prior to any campaign, 49% of the UK public say they would like to stay in the EU, while 51% say they would like to leave.  Within the UK a clear divide is evident across generational lines.  Euroscepticism is particularly evident amongst the older age demographic with only one third (35%) of the over 65s surveyed saying that they would opt to remain part of the in contrast to the three-quarters (72%) of 18-24 year olds who say the same. 

The threat of leaving the EU is significantly higher in the UK than any of the other 13 countries polled across the EU.  Indeed, despite the recent economic turmoil widespread support for the EU remains.  The study by ORB International is part of wider pan-European survey conducted by WIN/Gallup International; the poll across 13 countriess reveals that two thirds (64%) of those surveyed would prefer to stay in the EU, 30% would like their country to leave.

As a Continent, 26% of us feel ‘less European’ than we did this time last year; almost twice the number (14%) who say they feel more European.  The majority (57%) have felt no change in their relationship with the EU.

One area that still divides opinion is the single currency.  42% of those polled across the continent would like to keep the Euro, while 44% would prefer their national currency.  Of those countries that have kept their currency there is little appetite for the Euro – Denmark (67%), UK (85%) and Switzerland (84%) showing little desire for a new coin in their pocket.

Interestingly, enthusiasm for the Euro in countries that already has the single currency may also be on the wane.  In Germany for example, a country many would consider central to Europe’s economy, at present 42% said that they would rather see a return to the Deutschmark narrowly behind the 47% who are happy with the status quo.

Johnny Heald, Managing Director of ORB International said:

“These results show that the UK largely stands alone in their opinion of the EU.  Across the Continent we are twice as likely to want to stay in than come out of the Union.  With a general election coming next year and Europe back on the agenda with the rise of UKIP, David Cameron has a fight on his hands if he is to persuade the electorate that remaining a part of the EU is in the best interests of Britain”.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

ORB interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1000 adults across England, Scotland and Wales online between November 22-25 2014. This survey is part of a wider survey conducted among a representative sample of 12,752 adults across 13 countries throughout Europe.

Disclaimer:Gallup International Association or its members are not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C which is no longer a member of Gallup International Association. Gallup International Association does not accept responsibility for opinion polling other than its own. We require that our surveys be credited fully as Gallup International (not Gallup or Gallup Poll). For further details see website: www.wingia.com


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