UK’s European Communities Membership Referendum 1975

United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, 1975

 

Logo of the Keep Britain in Europe campaign.

The United Kingdom EC referendum of 1975, also known as the Common Market referendum and EEC membership referendum was a referendum held on 5 June 1975 in the United Kingdom to gauge support for the country’s continued membership of the European Communities (EC), often known as the Common Market at the time, which it had entered in 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. Labour‘s manifesto for the October 1974 general election promised that the people would decide “through the ballot box”  whether to remain in the EEC.

Logo of the Out into the World campaign.

 

The electorate expressed significant support for EEC membership, with 67% in favour on a 65% turnout. This was the first ever referendum held throughout the entire United Kingdom; previously, other referendums had been arranged only in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Greater London and individual towns. It remained the only UK-wide referendum until the United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011.

Referendum question

The question to be asked to the British electorate that was set out within the legislation was:
The Government has announced the results of the renegotiation of the United Kingdom’s terms of membership of the European Community.

Question:

Do you think that the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (the Common Market)?

Permitting a simple YES / NO answer.

Results :

United Kingdom European Community (Common Market) Membership Referendum 1975
Choice Votes  %
Referendum passed Yes 17,378,581 67.2
 X No 8,470,073 32.8
Valid votes 25,848,654 99.79
Invalid or blank votes 54,540 0.59
Total votes 25,903,194 100.00

 

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