Labour voters remain unsure of party's EU referendum position

Posted On: 
31st May 2016

Roughly half of Labour voters still do not know what the party's stance is on the EU referendum, according to two different sets of research.

The referendum on Britain's membership of the EU will take place on 23 June
PA Images

A leaked memo from the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, based on recent focus groups, found that Labour supporters were "uniformly uncertain" about the party's position on Europe.

That finding was corroborated by a new YouGov poll for the Times, which found that 45% of the party's voters think Labour either backs Brexit or is split on the issue. 

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There have been questions about leader Jeremy Corbyn's own enthusiasm for the EU but he has repeatedly made clear he and his party are backing a Remain vote.

A source in the Remain campaign told the Times it was crucial that Labour politicians stepped up their efforts.

“Labour voters are pivotal in this referendum. That’s why we need a lot of Labour voices because they are better message carriers.”

Pro-EU campaigners from both Labour and the Tories have admitted they do not have the resources to canvass voters directly about the EU, instead relying on street stalls and leafleting.

One Conservative source told the same paper: " “We’re not canvassing — I don’t think we could, we don’t have the manpower. It’s more about street stalls, public meetings — a high visibility campaign."

Several Labour MPs said local activists had "canvassing fatigue" after the recent round of local elections, but that they expected a big effort in the final stretch of the campaign.