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Europa

Jon Worth
piqer: Jon Worth
Dienstag, 21.06.2016

Widespread belief among Leave voters that the EU referendum will be rigged

Following the EU referendum online has been tough for the last few weeks. Whatever has happened as provoked all kinds of conspiracy theories and false flag accusations - some of them pretty grim. Death of Jo Cox? It was the Remain campaign who somehow engineered it, with echoes of the 2003 murder of Anna Lindh in Sweden during their Euro referendum. Electoral Registration system crashing on the deadline day? It was all a ploy by the government to drive up registration - that would favour Remain.

I had always - rather naively it seems - assumed that these theories were confined to the weirder corners of social media. Today my naivety was exposed by Adam Bienkov's summary of a new YouGov poll for LBC (original LBC summary here) looking at the British population's trust in the referendum process.

46% of those who plan to vote to Leave the EU said it is likely the referendum will be rigged. Meanwhile 11% of Remain voters think so. A fifth of voters think that the UK secret service MI5 is trying to swing the vote for Remain.

Now this is just one poll, and more research on this will be needed after the referendum, but these numbers show a startling lack of trust in the system. If Britain does vote to Remain, but the result is close (as looks highly likely in the polls), a huge number of people are going to doubt the result - even if there is no evidence to back up their claims. The Leave campaign - that has set out with a strong anti-establishment and anti-politics message also bears a degree of responsibility here - when the likes of Michael Gove say voters should not trust experts, I suppose it is inevitable they then do not trust the system in which such experts operate.

Regardless of the result on Thursday, British politics is in a very dangerous spot at the moment. An urgent trust-rebuilding exercise is going to be needed, whatever happens.

Widespread belief among Leave voters that the EU referendum will be rigged
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