Ukip voters worried that MI5 will rig EU referendum, new poll finds

Around two thirds of Ukip voters believe the referendum is likely to be rigged

Jon Stone
Tuesday 21 June 2016 15:46
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Nigel Farage presents Ukip's latest poster about refugees
Nigel Farage presents Ukip's latest poster about refugees

Two-thirds of Ukip voters believe the EU referendum will probably be “rigged”, while nearly a third suspect MI5 involvement in the alleged plot, a new survey suggests.

Pollsters YouGov surveyed a representative sample of all voters on whether they believed Thursday’s plebiscite would be conducted fairly.

Voters were asked whether they agreed with the statement “It is likely that the EU referendum will be rigged” with possible responses “Probably true”, Probably false” and “Don’t know”.

In total 45 per cent of people said the referendum would probably not be rigged, while 28 per cent said it probably would be. 26 per cent said they did not know.

The study found a sharp contrast between the views of people leaning towards Remain and people leaning towards Leave, however.

Just 11 per cent of people who planned to vote Remain said it was “probably true” that the EU referendum would be rigged, while 70 per cent said it probably wouldn’t be.

Leave voters were far more suspicious, with 46 per cent agreeing that rigging was likely, and just 30 per cent saying it was unlikely to be rigged.

People who voted Ukip in the 2015 election were extremely likely to believe the referendum would be rigged.

Just one in five said the vote would be conducted fairly while a full 64 per cent said it was likely to be rigged. No other party had more than 25 per cent of people who believed the same claim.

Another question, asking whether people believed “MI5 is working with the UK government to stop Britain leaving the EU”, was agreed with by 30 per cent of Ukip voters.

Around the same number, 31 per cent, thought MI5 were probably not involved.

The startling figures come after the Remain campaign accused Vote Leave of propagating “conspiracy theories” in relation to the referendum.

One recurring warning on some unofficial Leave social media channels involves activists telling people to bring an indelible pen to the polling station so that their votes cannot be erased and re-cast in favour of Remain.

Senior Vote Leave figures have also flat-out denied evidence produced by economists and other experts, often dismissing it as being finances by the EU or otherwise suspect.

Two Conservative politicians who switched sides from Leave to Remain over the campaign’s conduct have also been repeatedly accused on social media of being “plants” who had only pledged to support Leave so they could undermine the campaign by defecting later on.

Ukip MEP Gerard Batten claimed in a blogpost in May that the Nazis had created the "basic plan" for the European Union.

Vote Leave and Leave.EU have not yet responded to requests for comment on this story.

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