Voters’ butterflies, the post-Brexit budget, and the Totnes Question: my final referendum focus groups

My final round of referendum focus groups, in St Austell and Bromley, found that if the two sides of the campaign are feeling the pressure of the tightening polls, they are not the only ones – the voters are nervous too: “I swing so much between the two. I have actually got butterflies;” “In most elections nothing really changes, but with this one you know in your gut that something big is going to happen. There are going to be major changes and that is quite frightening.”

The closeness of the race is “the reason I can’t make my mind up. It’s a lot of responsibility, and I really want to get it right.” Still, most people were determined to do their democratic duty: “It means I’m more likely to try and make a decision. If one side was running away with it I might let it pass me by;” “I usually think, if you haven’t got an opinion, don’t bother. But this is pretty big.” (Not everyone was so resolute: “My mum always said if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. I’ve lived by that.” How did you vote at the general election? “Liberal Democrat.”)

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