Real engagement lacking, campaigners say
THE ELECTORAL REFORM SOCIETY has hit out at the ‘top-down’ EU referendum campaign after their polling showed one in seven people had still not been contacted by either side, and the majority have only received a leaflet.
The danger that the referendum debate is confined to the media rather than face-to-face discussion was highlighted by the poll, which found that while 72 per cent had received a leaflet, just 8 per cent had been approached in the street, and two per cent had been visited at home.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), said: “That one in six people have had zero contact about the referendum – with just a few days to go – is a stark sign that, outside of Westminster, this conversation clearly isn’t reaching everyone.
“While the vast majority of people have received a leaflet, just a tiny fraction of people have had any in-person discussion or dialogue when it comes to contact about the referendum. For the public, the campaigns appear to have been confined to the airwaves and mail-drops rather than real engagement or informed debate.
“For this to be a truly national conversation and a decisive result, everyone needs to have had some contact about the referendum, and the campaigns should leave no stone unturned in this last few days to get the message out there to where they haven’t yet reached.”
The lack of “real dialogue”, the ERS said, was highlighted by the new figures, and meant that many voters were being “left in the dark”.
The ERS has produced an online tool to help voters find the facts and arguments in the debate. Its last round of polling found that just 22 per cent of people felt well-informed about the referendum, and that the turnout could be as low as 62 per cent.
With just two days to go until the referendum on EU membership, no side has a conclusive lead.
Picture courtesy of Jessica C
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