(1975) ‘Officially, the 1975 referendum was designed to give the British people an opportunity to take a decision on membership of the European Community after Wilson’s 1974-5 renegotiation of Heath’s terms of entry. In effect, it was more of a strategy to outmanoeuvre the left within Wilson’s cabinet and Labour Party whose leading figures, such as Tony Benn, had pressed for a referendum. On 5 June 1975 the British electorate were asked: ‘Do you think that the United Kingdom should stay in the European Community (Common Market) ?’ A high turnout of 64.5 per cent cast their votes, of whom 67.2 percent voted in favour and 32.8 per cent against. This had much to do with the great disparity in expenditure and impact of cross-party organisations prior to the referendum. Whilst the ‘yes’ vote was ‘unequivocal… it was also unenthusiastic’ and was, at heart, ‘a vote for the status quo’.
References: David Butler & Uwe Kitzinger , ‘The 1975 Referendum, London, 1976, pp. 280.