An intro from the Editor
The last time Britain was given the opportunity to vote on our membership of the EU, I wasn’t born. In fact, my parents hadn’t even met.
Just 43% of 18-24 year olds voted in the 2015 general election. I was one of them, but enough has been said already about the reason for poor turnouts at General Elections. I’m hoping that this referendum can have a similar effect to the independence vote in Scotland. It represents a chance to motivate people who may not usually engage in politics to discover, debate and ultimately decide what side they’re on – in what is undoubtedly one of the most important votes we’ve ever had.
Pollstation’s aim is simple. We want to inform and inspire people to get involved.
In our briefing we’ve broken down the debate into 10 key areas with each one examining how the EU is involved, why people think that involvement is good or bad and what might change if we stay or leave.
So how are we different from other websites that will be reporting on the Referendum?
We’re 100% committed to neutrality. We’re not looking for headlines or pursuing any agenda to keep sponsors and advertisers happy. We haven’t been paid to work on this, and we’re not backed by vested interests.
Every statistic, every quote and report can contain a hidden bias, and the two sides are often so divided that even using a certain stat or word can give the impression you’re trying to steer the debate in a particular direction.
We’ve gone out of our way to make everything on the site really easy to navigate and share. Every chart, quote and viewpoint can be shared directly on social media. Our open poll (coming soon) can also be shared, producing an image of the live result when you click it.
Finally, we’re gathering a large selection of viewpoints from key influencers in the debate – many of whom have given us an exclusive statement – so you can see who thinks what and why. We also have some other exciting developments coming very soon, such as our ‘vote calculator’ which can help you decide what policy areas matter the most to you.
I’ve been a political researcher for the ITV Leader’s Debates and Paxman’s C4 Election Night Programme, so I’m used to working to produce neutral briefs. However this was without doubt one of the hardest briefings I’ve worked on. Every statistic, every quote and report can contain a hidden bias, and the two sides are often so divided that even using a certain stat or word can give the impression you’re trying to steer the debate in a particular direction. We spent hours and hours working through what topics, facts and figures we would try and tackle in order to create the fullest, fairest briefing we could.
We are really keen to get feedback on anything on the site. We’re always looking for ways to improve things or present information better or more accurately. If you have ideas or want to draw our attention to something, then drop me a note at: email@example.com
Alongside our other sections we will be running this blog where we’ve inviting commentators to bring their views to the debate. We would welcome submissions that tackle breaking developments – or provide a balanced analysis of an aspect of the debate. If this sounds like your thing, again I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for myself after months of research, writing and re-writing I am, of course, still undecided!