With just over two weeks to go until Britain’s referendum on European Union membership, our reporter Ewan Somerville headed down to Barnstaple High Street to hear local opinions on the issue.
On Saturday, May 28 in association with North Devon political engagement project ‘polify.co.uk’, Ewan, 17, filmed a series of interviews with passers-by and conducted a street poll on how people would vote on June 23.
The poll of 268 people found that 49 per cent want to leave the European Union, 35 per cent want to remain and 16 per cent are undecided.
More men (26 per cent) than women (23 per cent) wanted to leave.
Ewan interviewed three people – one leaning towards ‘remain’, another towards ‘leave’, and a young person who was undecided.
He said: “It’s striking how disinterested the people of Barnstaple were when we were filming and conducting the street poll. Nonetheless, we did gain a flavour of how people in the area are likely to vote.”
Polify is a new initiative set up locally to engage more people in politics.
Its co-founder David Vaughan, 31, who studies politics and international relations at the Open University in London, said: “I wanted to do politics as well as study it. I wanted to support my academic studies with some real interactions.
“North Devon is traditionally a black hole for politics and this project is aimed at changing that,” he added.
Mr Vaughan hopes to host frequent debates and meetings around North Devon, and present relevant information and statistics in engaging ways on the Polify website.
People are encouraged to attend Polify’s ‘town hall’ style EU referendum debate in Braunton this Saturday.
It is being held at the Parish Hall, starting at 6.30pm and will be chaired by Mr Vaughan. Both sides of the debate will be represented by three people, including South West MEP Julie Girling on the ‘remain’ side and North Devon UKIP Chairman Stuart Robertson on the ‘leave’ side.