Many millions of UK citizens want to decide in a referendum about the "brexit" terms but we have been deprived of our democratic right to launch this sort of public issue ballot (Spring 2018)
"is there any consistent evidence that support for having another referendum has increased?"
John Curtice (Prof), public opinion ace, struggles in his analysis concerning this question (1). He seems to believe, or advocate the idea, that if opinion polls suggest that more than half of the British electorate favours holding another referendum about UK and EU then, somehow, such a referendum should be held.

Curtice cites polls carried out by different companies, which have produced a range of results. What these and other polls confirm is that (in spring 2018) many millions of citizens probably desire another referendum about "brexit".

We at INIREF.ORG argue that a decision to hold another referendum about "brexit" should not depend on opinion poll results. As thing stand it is only Parliament which can decide about this, a state of affairs, by no means ideal, which we say is a weakness of our governance. In this most urgent case we recommend (in late May 2018) that Parliament should design and launch a referendum about whether to accept the "leaving" terms so far negotiated by government OR to retain membership of the European Union. Government should co-operate in this initiative.

Further here, we take the opportunity to show that the citizen-launched referendum would provide better democracy in the UK.

Just how the people of the UK can obtain a referendum on a matter of national importance or controversy is by no means clear. The existing process resembles the practice of ancient times when a monarch or despot would, rarely, ask her or his subjects for their opinion on her/his idea or plan, expecting an acclamatory response, becoming enraged if criticism should be expressed in the poll.

Referring to the condition of british democracy: "Calling a referendum, it turns out, does not have anything, in particular, to do with constitutional principle. Rather, its about party management and political strategy." (2)

What is currently the procedure to instigate a statewide referendum?

For each referendum Parliament (i.e. both houses thereof) must pass an enabling law.

Parliament as in much lawmaking is not the effective decider but it is the prime minister and government who direct and permit that a referendum shall be held: Parliament merely "rubber stamps" the government's instruction.

Could we do this in a better, fairer, more open and democratic way?
In the above cited article about public attitudes to "brexit" the pollsters and Prof. Curtice seem to imply that a referendum may or should be held only if a majority of their sampled citizens (extrapolated to reflect half of the population) have apparently consented to the idea of holding such a ballot. Now, "government by opinion poll" has rightly been criticised but it seems that, here, participative-democracy-by-opinion-poll, is being propagated ;-). To instigate a referendum there is a known and well-tried improvement both on this and on the hitherto method (government-imposed plebiscite), namely the citizen launched referendum. This begins with a society-wide competition of ideas and proposals followed by the sovereign democratic
act of citizens' initiative (or proposition). A citizens' initiative must be registered with a public office such as an electoral commission. Then within a usually defined time period an agreed large number of eligible voters must endorse the proposal to hold a ballot. The percentage of endorsements required is usually in low single figures, rarely above ten percent. Should Parliament reject the proposal then a legally binding referendum of the whole electorate must be held. (3, 4, 5, 6). Further detail may found at

To improve our public governance for the future we should seriously consider reforming democracy along these lines.

You can comment on Curtice's article at this "what uk thinks" blog.

2. Peter Wiggins, recent remark at

3.Why is it so DIFFICULT for the sovereign electorate to get a referendum?


UK needs more referenda for a strong democracy: BUT quality is crucial

6. Campaign alliance "People's Vote" demands ballot on brexit deal