EU referendum: BBC Question Time audience member sums up the problem with Leave or Remain vote

Newspapers all have their own 'agendas', a young man has said

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Indy Politics

With 113 days until the EU referendum - that's more than 15 weeks away - levels of stamina among the public for the flow of information being directed at them seem to be waning.

And when the opening question of BBC's Question Time was on how much the referedum's outcome would depend on "which side could scare us more", one audience member put the problem laid before the country in very clear terms.

A young man said the decision to continue or terminate the 40-year relationship all rested on wondering who could be trusted to give impartial, accurate information.

Mr Cameron is campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, which Mr Hollande hopes it will

"With all this scaremongering that's going on in the media about this, I don't see how us as the general public can make an informed decision," he said, prompting nods from those around him.

"You've seen Hollande's comments today about leaving the EU and saying the economic impact that will have. But reading the articles we see in the newspapers there doesn't seem to be any fact."

He was referring to a warning from the French president, Francois Hollande, that relations between the UK and his country would change in the event of a "Leave" vote.

Mr Hollande stopped short of repeating his finance minister's words that border controls at Calais might be changed - but stressed immigration as one of the risks Britain was running by leaving the bloc to which France is a key member.

In the light of such risks, the audience member seemed to be concerned that he was given little information with which to make a safe and long-term decision.

"It's just all sides saying different things and you just don't know who to believe," he said.

BBC presenter David Dimbleby pressed the young man further: "And when you say you don't know who to believe you think [...] everybody just says what they think will win you over and in fact what you're saying is it won't win you over at all - because you don't believe any of them?"

The response was: "Yes. I just don't believe what they're saying because I think they've got their own agendas, and I don't know how to vote in the referendum."

Panellists to whom the question was posed were Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Conservative justice minister Dominic Raab, Ukip MEP Louise Bours, Guardian columnist Zoe Williams and footballer Jermain Jenas.

One of the most recent polls attempting to predict the result of the EU referendum gave the "In" camp a clear lead, with 60 per cent agreeing to stay and 30 per cent wanting to withdraw.

The economy was the clear battleground with voters, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey by NatCen, with 72 per cent of those wishing to leave believing the economy would be better outside it.

Yet others place the competition between politicians for the public's hearts - currently spearheaded by David Cameron and Boris Johnson on each side - far more closely. 

In January this year, a YouGov analysis of newspaper readers placed the public on a knife-edge at a 51 to 49 per cent split.