This was an area where the Brexiters dominated. Inone YouGov poll, 46 per cent of Leave voters agreed the referendum would be rigged; 28 per cent thought MI5 was already working on it.
One widely-circulated suspicion was that the government had deliberately crashed the voter registration system to allow more time for Remain supporters to register. (Which discounted the possibility that government websites simply do not function very well.)
Another was that any Leave votes made in pencil would be erased, and converted to Remain votes. And yet another theory was that Sarah Wollaston, the fiercely-independent Tory MP who defected from Leave to Remain, was a government plant.
Daniel Jolley, a professor at Staffordshire University, and Karen Douglas, at the University of Kent, recently conducted an experiment asking 400 people to what degree they subscribed to such theories, including one stating that major broadcasters were colluding with Remain by placing its propaganda on their websites.
They discovered that the degree to which people accepted such theories outstripped almost all other factors as a predictor of their voting intentions. (YouGov’s survey found that only 11 per cent of Remainers thought the vote would be rigged, and 16 per cent that MI5 was involved.)read more