EU Referendum: Overwhelming majority of UK students set to vote Remain

Barack Obama's intervention may be more decisive than first realised among students

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Thursday 19 May 2016 09:37 BST

An overwhelming majority of UK students are set to vote Remain in the upcoming EU referendum, a result which could determine the outcome of the vote in June, according to a new poll.

Graduate career app Debut has surveyed 12,000 students from its user base this month to find a staggering 81 per cent will be voting for the UK to stay in the EU, while just ten per cent will be voting Leave.

The remainder told the poll they were not yet sure of their decision.

It has been stated that if 60 per cent of the population turns out to vote on polling day, Leave will win - given the older generation tend to vote more than the young, according to a recent opinion poll carried out for the Independent by ORB.

But, for the first time, this evidence has suggested the student contingent could swing the campaign in the opposite direction.

Debut’s CEO Charles Taylor described how people expect students to be “apathetic” towards political and societal issues, but said the poll has shown other wise.

Taylor said: “It reveals a highly-motivated group of voters that look set to determine the referendum outcome. After all, this is the generation that will have to live with the consequences far longer than their parents or grandparents and their futures depend on it.”

Other key findings to emerge from the survey include Barack Obama’s intervention which is being viewed as more decisive than first realised; the US President has more influence over British students’ political decisions (55 per cent) than the likely candidate for Tory leadership and ex-London Mayor, Boris Johnson (37 per cent), a further blow to the Brexit campaign.

Career concerns have emerged as being a huge motivating factor for students around the referendum: almost four out of five (77 per cent) believe the UK’s departure will impact their job opportunities post-graduation, while only 14 per cent think there would not be any impact at all.

Despite the large majority of students wanting to remain in the EU, 84 per cent believe the UK should still have its own currency and voted that human rights (31 per cent), sovereignty (27 per cent) and job opportunities (23 per cent) mattered most to them.

What to believe about the EU referendum

This was shortly followed by security (13 per cent), with immigration and information sharing mattering least to students, with three per cent respectively.

Eight per cent of the students polled by Debut also felt that one of the world’s most powerful popstars, Beyoncé, had the most bearing on their political decisions.

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