We’ve had two “new” polls on EU membership this week (the inverted commas are there becuase while the ICM poll out today has fresh fieldwork, the ComRes poll earlier in the week was actually done at the end of September). ICM’s latest figures have REMAIN on 44%, LEAVE on 39% (tabs). ComRes meanwhile had REMAIN on 55%, LEAVE on 36% – a far more solid lead for those wishing to stay in the EU (tabs)

There is obviously sizeable gulf in the figures different polling companies are reporting on the EU referendum. ComRes have done several polls on the EU referendum since the election and have consistently shown REMAIN with a strong lead, in contrast two YouGov polls last month both showed LEAVE with a small lead (though they had been showing a modest lead for stay earlier in the year). ICM have been conducting a weekly tracker on EU voting intention, and their figures tend to show a modest lead for those who want to stay.

Polling methodology is in a period of flux as pollsters reassess their approaches in the light of what went wrong at the general election, but I don’t think that explains the difference here. ComRes have indeed adopted a new turnout model based on socio-economic factors… but the nineteen point lead is without that extra turnout weighting, it would be even bigger with it. It could be a online vs telephone difference – YouGov and the regular ICM tracker are both conducted online, the ComRes polls by telephone – but that’s hardly enough evidence to be confident, there will be many other differences in methodology.

While we can’t really tell why there is a difference, we can say where the difference is: Conservative voters. All three pollsters have Labour voters splitting strongly in favour of staying, albeit with some difference in quite how strongly (ICM had 55% of Labour voters backing REMAIN, YouGov had 58%, ComRes 73%). The contrast among Tory voters was larger, ComRes has Tory voters wanting to stay, ICM has them broadly split, YouGov has them favouring exit: in the most recent polls YouGov had only 33% of current Tory voters wanting to stay, ICM had 42% of 2015 Tory voters, ComRes had 56% backing remaining. In practice, of course, how they Tory vote ends up splitting will depend to a significant extent on the leadership David Cameron gives in the referendum and which senior Tory figures come out in favour of leaving – there’s a long way to go yet.


190 Responses to “Latest EU referendum polling”

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  1. There was also a Brexit question in the Scottish poll released yesterday by TNS.

    “Opinion on membership of the European Union also shows little change over the last few months, with 47% intending to vote for the UK to remain in the EU in the promised referendum, down two points since the last time TNS asked this question in May. Support for a British exit was 18% (-1) with 29% undecided (+3) and 5% saying they would not vote (+1). ”

    Interesting note about the party makeup of remain / leave support in Scotland:

    “Since Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, doubts have been expressed about the party’s commitment to EU membership, while the SNP remains strongly in favour. However, Labour’s voters in Scotland appear to be more pro-EU than SNP supporters, with two thirds (66%) of Labour voters wanting to stay in the EU with 13% wanting to leave, against under half of SNP voters (46%) in favour of remaining and 23% supporting exit.”

    http://www.tnsglobal.com/uk/snp-maintains-strong-lead-as-new-leaders-fail-to-boost-Labour-support

  2. From previous thread:
    A second group campaigning to leave the EU emerges. As yet no coherent campaign to stay in the EU. Will this produce a VI momentum for leaving? The long campaign in Scotland seemed to assist the Yes camp!

    Any thoughts?

    [The main Yes campaign (the Will Straw, Andrew Cooper, etc one) is, I think, launching on Monday – AW]

    I wonder if a long campaign favours one side over the other:

    I cannot see any significant possibilities of any reform much before 2017, given that the Govt. position on staying is based on gaining reform, I cannot see an early poll. That implies a long campaign (and a short time to analyse the reform before any poll).
    Is this analysis faulty, I know some people are far mor au fait with the EU issue than I.

  3. There may not be any poll at all.

  4. An interesting set of subsidiary questions from ICM which confirms my fears that Labour could come a further cropper as the EU referendum takes centre stage.

    From Q3, Of all electors, 54% would like to leave the EU although some of these say they may vote to stay in. 32% “strongly support the EU project” and the rest don’t know. So the UK is predominantly Eurosceptic, even though some of those might vote to stay through gritted teeth.

    2015 Labour voters are split 42% to 45% on the same basis. The problem for Labour is that the party appears to be wedded to an unashamedly pro-EU campaign, and is blind to the hostility to the EU project that would suggest the need for a fairly nuanced campaign. Instead Labour has committed to a campaign run by those who “strongly support the EU project”, campaigning for a vote for “in” regardless of the outcome of Cameron’s negotiations and failing to give any impression that Labour would mount a serious challenge to the project of ever closer union. There is a real risk that such an unequivocal campaign will alienate even the base of those who voted for the party in 2015. And with only 4% of UKIP 2015 voters (that many?) “strongly supporting the EU project”, they’ll write off any chance of getting back lost support from that quarter.

  5. @James Morrison:

    The overall Scottish VI in that TNS poll is interesting when viewed in the context of Roger Mexico’s posts on Corbyn’s name recognition.

    RM’s thesis is that Corbyn’s “worst ever” new leader ratings are overstated because of his high public profile , low number of “don’t knows” and disapproval amongst people who “would never vote for him anyway” (eg people stating current Conservative VI).

    This is dubious in itself, given that Corbyn would likely have to win over people currently stating non-Labour VI. There is relatively little to be gained from high approval from people already supporting Labour (and if I remember correctly Corbyn’s LABOUR approval was also lower than the comparative Miliband poll referenced by RM).

    The TNS poll displays the other side of the coin when it comes to RM’s thesis. Presumably the Scottish electorate also have a familiarity with the new Labour leader and his outlook, yet have not flocked to his support as some had predicted.

    I think RM’s posts display the dangers of ‘data-mining’ when it comes to polls, as was the tendency when this site was largely an echo chamber before the last election.

    If one mines deep into the internals of unfavourable polls one can often find data that supports a “it’s different this time” thesis, as was frequently used to discount “swing back” on this site 12 to 18 months before the last election.

    However Occam’s Razor is usually correct – bad polls (in a historical context) are usually bad polls.

  6. The “Out” arguments will be easier to understand to people who do not understand how government works (which I would expect to be most fo the “undecideds”. I think it is likely that we end up voting to leave. It will also appeal to the pathetic tendency to blame foreigners for Britain’s mistakes.

    The pro-European business elite may end up regretting not backing “anti-business” Ed Miliband.

  7. @ Wolf

    Can’t understand your comment! Without a significant event (e.g. war with Russia) how could there be no poll, especially given the current Parliamentary Conservative party make-up?

  8. First London Mayor poll (via NC)

    YouGov/Evening Standard (London Mayor, “who would be best?”, ex DKs):

    Goldsmith 49
    Khan 51

    6th-8th
    N=1,178

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/jakyqvnyhn/InternalResults_London_trackers_ZacSadiq_Mayor_151008_Website.pdf

    This is going to be an interesting election innit

  9. @omnishambles

    First London Mayor poll (via NC)

    Too close to call? or, based on the don’t knows, too soon to call?

  10. Last night I attended a labour party meeting at the Holgate ward York with Alan Johnson guest speaking on the matter of theupcoming European in/out referendum and his role in the in campaign . I thought he outlined a coherent , reasonable and rational case for Britain staying and fighting for reform within thru a long term strategy of building alliances in comparison with the jump into the dark and somewhat vague propositions that appear to be offered up by the outers , the meeting had a reasonable turn out of roughly a hundred attendees who seemed broadly receptive to Mr Johnson’s presentation thou it had to be noted that there was a paucity of youngsters which was a bit disappointing it felt reassuring in the sense that it pointed to a perception that the party was broadly if not overly enthusiastic united to retaining it’s place in Europe.

  11. @wb

    Both I think.

    I reckon Khan should have the advantage because London is most definitely a Labour city and Londoners like their public services which is where Labour is strong. However, Boris just won twice in a row…

    They both seem like charismatic and likeable people.

  12. Hawthorn

    “The pro-European business elite may end up regretting not backing “anti-business” Ed Miliband.”

    That really is pie in the sky, they would never have backed him. I hope your right about Brexit but I am not at all certain your correct. Many people who do want to leave are by no means anti- foreigner and ceratinly don’t blame them for most of our problems. Nor are all business leaders in favour of staying in. Whilst there is probably a majority who want to stay, there is ceratinly a significant number who want to leave.

  13. Mayoral poll in line with Khan v Goldsmith polling from before they were selected… both too close to call and too early, in answer to the poster above. One thing we do know from past mayoral contests is that they are to a very great extent about the personalities involved – I don’t think that makes Zac a shoe-in by any means, though, and London’s demographics ought to give Sadiq a head start. Remember neither of these candidates will currently be well known to most Londoners.

  14. Both sides of the EU debate trying to sign up Boris Johnston. But he continues to straddle the fence like the great political leader he isn’t…. Osborne must be LHAO.

  15. As Omnishables hinted the question asked was actually Which one of the following do you think would make the best Mayor of London?
    rather than asking how people would vote. This might make some difference, especially as groups that are more Labour-friendly at the moment (women, C2DEs) are more likely to say ‘Not sure’. But given the overall percentage of ‘Not sure’ was 44%, there’s clearly a lot to be decided.

    The closeness between the two candidates is also reflected in questions on their other attributes. They are within a point of each other in the responses to how people reacted the their selection, whether they would be good in a crisis, if they are likeable, and if they would be up to the job of Mayor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two candidates so evenly matched.

    Only on whether they are ‘in touch with ordinary people'[1] differs – and even there the figures are neatly nearly reversed. Goldsmith 18% (40% not), Khan 41% (17% not).

    [1] Now people who do you think is more in touch with ordinary people – the son of a billionaire or the son of a bus driver? Um not sure say 40% of people.

  16. @ WB

    Too close to call? or, based on the don’t knows, too soon to call?

    Sadly, IMO, it is a foregone conclusion. Sadiq Khan is very unlikely to get >50% in the first round so Goldsmith will win on second preferences.

  17. Roger Mexico: it is possible to be simultaneously from a privileged background and in touch with the masses. Why so many people believe these two conditions are mutually exclusive is beyond me.

    And if people so desperately cared about their leaders’ upbringings we wouldn’t have a cabinet full of former members of the Bullingdon Club.

  18. @Roger Mexico

    Remember that it is an SV system and that there will be more than two candidates. Given the likelihood (though I wouldn’t say certainty) of these two being in the ‘run-off’ I guess YouGov feel this is the best way to tease out the likely result. There is, near enough, a full line-up now so it would be interesting to include all the declared candidate and see how second prefs break down – does the theory that Zac will attract Greens hold true? (I doubt it, personally).

  19. NED LUDD

    This EU referendum is going to split the Labour party as much as the Tory party. Corbyn will have to box clever – Labour supporters on the whole seem to be pro-EU but many of Corbyn’s supporters are anti-EU as are many of Labour’s working class supporters. The treatment of Greece at the hands of Germany was an outrage to democracy and shows whose side the EU will be on when it comes to the crunch.

    I don’t think that’s be really true. Labour members (or at least those who could vote in the leadership election) seem to be overwhelmingly pro-EU, even if they may be disillusioned with many current actions.

    YouGov asked their EU referendum questions about a month ago of three different samples[1]:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/zvlyhdkq2h/Con_and_Lab_Supporters_150928_EU_w.pdf

    While the overall sample[2] was Remain 38%, Leave 40% and Labour voters were 58% to 25% in favour of remaining, the ‘selectorate’ was 77% to 13%. YouGov didn’t give a breakdown by candidate chosen, but given that the same sample was balanced to reflect the result of 60% Corbyn, even if all that 13% voted for him, the vast majority of his supporters must be in favour of remaining.

    [1] 11171 GB Adults, together with 1,003 members of the Conservative Party and 1,894 members of Labour’s selectorate Fieldwork: 10th – 17th September 2015 (though dates for Labour selectorate were actually slightly different).

    [2] Pre-‘renegotiation’. The Labour ‘selectorate’ voters were almost completely unmoved (either way) by the situation where “David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain’s interests were now protected” and current Labour voters were only shifted a few points towards Remain. As you might expect the big movement on this came from Conservatives.

  20. …does the theory that Zac will attract Greens hold true?

    Probably about 50/50 for the Greens between Sadiq & Zac; also around 50/50 for Dems. But Kippers will overwhelmingly select Zac as their second preference. That’s why, IMO, it’s a foregone conclusion that Zac Goldsmith will win.

  21. In truth, Alan Johnson was a has-been in June 2010.

    He therefore must be a has-has-been now.

    His generation of Labour politicians lost in 2010, and after JC’s win are even further adrift.

    I can’t imagine anyone but sentimentalists coming out to hear him, and especially not young people.

  22. I think it’s unwise to write-off the Big Beasts. They’re experienced and often have something useful to contribute. Applies to all parties.

  23. POLLTROLL

    Roger Mexico: it is possible to be simultaneously from a privileged background and in touch with the masses. Why so many people believe these two conditions are mutually exclusive is beyond me.

    I know that it is possible, though you must admit it requires an imaginative and intellectual leap that many people seem unwilling to make (or even admit the need to do so). See any newspaper comment thread for examples.

    But as you point out a lot of people don’t see it as happening, so my comment was more about that perception than the empathy of the two candidates.

    As to whether it matters, probably not a great deal, though you could argue that it was an advantage that Labour failed to exploit sufficiently (perhaps aware that they often came across as almost as remote). However I suspect that Labour probably won’t play the ‘toff’ card in this election for the same reason that the Conservatives won’t play the Muslim one – Goldsmith comes across as a sympathetic person who could make that leap, Khan is a long way away from anyone’s idea of a Muslim fanatic (we saw this in that Survation polling).

  24. CMJ

    @”He therefore must be a has-has-been now.”

    Yep-he hasn’t got “Momentum” :-)

  25. JACK SHELDON

    Remember that it is an SV system and that there will be more than two candidates. Given the likelihood (though I wouldn’t say certainty) of these two being in the ‘run-off’ I guess YouGov feel this is the best way to tease out the likely result. There is, near enough, a full line-up now so it would be interesting to include all the declared candidate and see how second prefs break down – does the theory that Zac will attract Greens hold true? (I doubt it, personally).

    Even with the forced choice 47% of Lib Dems[1] and 61% of UKIP 2015 voters were not sure, so there’s a lot of second votes around to be persuaded. Lib Dems tended to split between the two, but what UKIP voters who did give an opinion overwhelmingly went for Goldsmith.

    As to the Greens, YouGov don’t provide the data (they got around 5% of the London vote in May). I suspect most would still go to Labour, but Goldsmith would probably do better than another Tory would.

    Not asking an explicit VI question does mean that you miss out on the ‘donkey vote’ – those who will vote Lab/Con irrespective of candidate.

    [1] Goldsmith does a bit better, but you would expect him to have an advantage representing a SW London constituency, the SW being where the Lib Dem vote is strongest.

  26. @Roger Mexico

    The evidence from the ICM polling is that even 2015 Labour voters (i.e. not counting working class people who voted Lab in 2010 or 2005 but since defected to UKIP) are more hostile to the EU than would be suggested than judging from responses to a simple “in” or “out” question. They are fairly evenly split based on that ICM polling, although that’s only from one polling company.

    Yes the Labour membership itself is much more pro EU, but that only serves to illustrate that the membership is out of touch with the general hostility of public opinion towards the EU.

  27. @Roger Mexico

    “As to the Greens, YouGov don’t provide the data (they got around 5% of the London vote in May). I suspect most would still go to Labour, but Goldsmith would probably do better than another Tory would.”

    I think this is accurate. Doing slightly better than another Tory among Greens could make the difference, of course.

  28. If the EU signs up to TTIP before the UK referendum, there’s a good chance that voters ‘on the left’ will end up in the Leave camp.

  29. @Amber Star

    TTIP, the perception that the Troika put the needs of the financial institutions above the needs of the people of Greece, the way unelected people were installed as leaders in countries when the democratic processes couldn’t produce an ‘suitable’ leader in Greece and Italy…….

    There are many reasons why ‘voters on the left’ may vote to leave.

    The EU is so poorly regarded, the ‘Remain’ campaign can’t say ‘look at the great stuff the EU does for you’, instead it will be Project Fear MK 2 – ‘The EU does lots of things you don’t really like, but it’s the least worst option’.

    I expect to hear loads about lost jobs, less investment, poorer working conditions etc.

    If enough are too scared to move from the status quo, team ‘Remain’ will a begrudging, modest victory (and people won’t be too grateful either…)

  30. @ Catman Jeff

    I think that referring to the Scottish referendum as “project fear” is inaccurate. Project Solidarity + Project self-interest were the two strands which, woven together, kept Scotland in the UK.

    The EU does not have the same claims of solidarity, history, language, social security & shared currency. Therefore, I think that the case for remaining in the EU is weaker.

    I am undecided on the EU. But I know where I stand regarding TTIP.

  31. “I expect to hear…”

    That is because it *will* mean economic upheaval. Much better to be a part of the two speed, moderated-Schengen EU that will be developing over the coming few years. However begrudgingly a vote for IN is just that and does not need to be gift wrapped and SWALK.

    “I’m not surprised there were few young supporters”

    I’d read little into that! Hashtag people’s momentum are finding it a lot more difficult to turn on the under 25s of generation apathy to their boring notion of 7 day a week “people’s democratic republic of opposing everything” lifestyle. In the main most of these kids/ young adults have had their summer of FB ‘likes’ and weeks in the media spotlight as part of “something…”: in any case the actual number of young people not already previously involved in some form of political activity (be it a political party or greenpeace or the friends of Palestinian militants etc) was always grossly overstated.

    My colleague was at the meeting of UoS Labour students with Tristram Hunt- consensus of that group of Tweenies of almost 100 was decidedly soft left and soft right! Just the odd (use that word advisedly) Corbynite fashionista.

    In any case, AJ always does very very well with ordinary people- and concomitantly very very badly with out of touch far lefties: the ones speedily making themselves “has beens” by ignoring huge swathes of the electorate.

    ‘Zak V Sadiq’

    It’s going to be extremely close.

    It really does depends upon whether he gets contaminated by Livingston, Corbyn and the socialist action- er, sorry ‘people’s momentum’- brigade Rossi. If he can keep them at arms length then he has a punchers chance.

    Losing majority control of English councils, a flatlining national vote share whilst making no inroads in Scotland and failing to retake London Mayor when even EdM managed a 42-35 win at 2015 GE…

    The first year report card detailing those kind of ‘results’ would be truly remarkable!

  32. Phil Haines

    “the membership is out of touch with the general hostility of public opinion towards the EU.”

    Presumably that “general hostility of public opinion towards the EU.” will have been consistently reflected in the polls?

    If that were to be the case, then Anthony would have to be dissimulating in the post header.

    Of course, with pollsters being in meltdown, we could revert to the former stance on this site, of people insisting that the pollster reporting what they want to be reported, as opposed to the other pollsters that the really ignorant folk (who don’t share the opinions of the first group) are quoting.

    Ah! The joys of “Wis”, “Wisnae” debating re-emerges from childhood memories. :-)

  33. Amber @ Catman Jeff

    “I think that referring to the Scottish referendum as “project fear” is inaccurate.”

    You may well be right. “Project Fear” was the BT staffer’s own description of their campaign.

    That they couldn’t even get that correct, should surprise no one.

  34. IMO, Most of the BT staffers were deadweight on the No campaign. I found honesty was the best policy when engaging with undecided voters. But let’s not fight old battles; there’ll be plenty of polling & debate to come when the SNP decide what their referendum policy is for 2016.

  35. Amber

    ” I found honesty was the best policy when engaging with undecided voters”

    So did I.

    “But let’s not fight old battles;”

    We aren’t. We are in agreement that the BT campaign was terrible. Hopefully, the meeting between the proto-Remain campaign and Blair McDougall in order to learn what not to do, will have been productive.

  36. @ Old Nat
    Hopefully, the meeting between the proto-Remain campaign and Blair McDougall in order to learn what not to do, will have been productive.

    I think it will only have been productive for those in favour of out! ;-)

  37. Amber

    “I think it will only have been productive for those in favour of out! ;-)”

    Your reasoning for that comment?

  38. The Scottish referendum came down to issues of currency. In fact it was the same dynamic that sees Greek voters insistent that they want to stay in the euro – sound money. The Greeks are even willing to put up with extreme austerity for sound money.

    The money issue doesn’t apply in the EU referendum as the money is already separate and we keep the pound if we leave.

    Issues about identity also played a part in the Scottish ref – but there is no issue of identity in the EU ref – we will still be European because of geography. In any case hardly anyone says “I’m European” in preference to saying, “I’m English”, or “I’m British” or “I’m a Mancunian” or whatever. There is no emotional attachment to the EU at all, nobody owns a flag, nobody sings the anthem or even knows what it is.

    So if there is no emotional pull and no fear about our savings etc, it comes down to dry technical reasons – issues about trade and commerce, which change over time anyway.

    There is one big emotional reason for leaving though – “the world is getting mad and scary, let’s pull up the drawbridges and huddle together”.

  39. @Amber
    “If the EU signs up to TTIP before the UK referendum, there’s a good chance that voters ‘on the left’ will end up in the Leave camp.”

    I like to think that I’m slightly more informed on political matters than most voters (e.g. council candidate, member of a party, contributor here etc), but I had to look it up to remind myself what TTIP is.

    My point is that unless some massive campaign is undertaken most voters will be completely oblivious to it, and therefore it will have minimal effect on VI.

  40. Pete B,

    I am inclined to agree that TTIP will of itself have limited direct impact on VI.

    However, it could have an impact on the position of activists such as Amber. This could have a double impact, not just in terms of campaign resources, but also in terms of pushing Labour towards campaigning to leave.

    I doubt that TTIP will have the same, still less an inverse, effect on Conservatives. It takes the EU forever to negotiate and then ratify external treaties. An independent UK outside EU could negotiate as many bilateral deals as it wants. We could even join NAFTA if we so chose. (Not that I am advocating such a thing).

  41. @ Amber Star

    I totally agree that TTIP would be of significance to Labour members with regard to the EU referendum. In fact, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are also vigorously opposed to TTIP, which may well cause some strife with other members of the shadow cabinet and in particular John Healey.

    The thing is that it is not just the threat of TTIP. There are the 80 odd bi-lateral deals that have already been signed on our behalf (though only the later ones contain the super charged ISDS). There is CETA, the Canadian deal which has been finalised (but not yet ratified) which will facilitate US transnational corporations to use ISDS through their subsidiaries, and then there is the Trade in Services Agreement TISA which is currently being negotiated in Geneva. TISA covers pretty much the same countries as TTIP and TPP combined, and it is in many ways more draconian than TTIP/TPP/CETA.

    I don’t need to tell you that the European elites are absolutely gung-ho for all of these trade deals, locking in the Washington consensus, and disregarding the removal of sovereignty from democratically elected governments.

  42. I agree with Amber

    TTIP is a scary prospect to the vast majority of the left and centre, and I’d bet even many (maybe even a majority??? of Tories)

    Since Marx wrote his silly little book, the debate has always centred around whether the state should control the market (left wing) or whether the state should leave the market alone and let it be free (right wing) what TTIP does however is put’s the Market and Business in control of the state, if they dont like a law they can take the elected government to court and have it struck down or have them fined, they are allowed to force the sell of public services such as the NHS (say what you like the NHS is currently still 100% publicly owned)

    What I’m getting at is we don’t have a wing, or a space on the spectrum for what TTIP represents. If pure communism on a scale is 10, and pure free market capitalism was 0, TTIP would be taking us into negative numbers.

    Anecdotally as a centrist (about a 4 or a 5) I’m horrified at the prospect of TTIP as are my friends also independent and those on the left, but also none of the tories I know seem to be in favour either.

  43. Good morning from a cloudy Bathgate

    Two thoughts on the above discussions:
    1. As I have said before, to claim that the Troika overruled a democratically elected Government (Greece) is to miss the point. If you don’t want to be in thrall to the moneylenders don’t borrow! Simples.

    2. I wasn’t sure if Candy was being positive about the ‘pull up the drawbridges’ remark, but it seems to me that the suggestion (from Paul H-J) that the UK on its own could ever strike a better deal than the EU working together in international trade negotiations is a bit far fetched. ‘There is strength in numbers’ rings true to me, especially when you see what China has been doing to individual countries in Africa. The UK on its own could ‘negotiate’ all it liked – but a light weight ‘negotiating’ against a heavy weight in a boxing ring doesn’t get very far!

  44. TTIP

    It seems to me that it has its attractions. I like the idea that Companies would have the right to sue Governments.

  45. @Old Nat

    Maybe you didn’t read the summary of the ICM poll in my 11.37 post.

    So here is a fuller breakdown for your benefit:

    “I think the EU project
    is bad for
    for Britain and Europe,
    Britain should pursue
    free trade and friendly
    cooperation outside the
    EU and I am almost sure
    to vote to LEAVE the EU” = 34%

    “I strongly support the
    EU project, Britain’s future role
    should be to play as
    full a part in it as
    possible, and I am
    almost sure to vote to
    STAY in the EU” = 32%

    “I would like to leave the
    EU but I am worried about the
    effects on jobs and
    living standards, so I
    may vote to STAY in the
    EU” = 20%

    Those responses seem to me to show that the dominant public mood towards the EU is one of hostility, even if a number of those hostile may end up voting to stay in as a least worst option.

    There is also a breakdown of responses by region of the UK that you may be interested in.

  46. @ Old Nat

    I don’t think that Blair McDougall etc. are particularly good at learning from their mistakes.

  47. @ Pete B

    I like to think that I’m slightly more informed on political matters than most voters (e.g. council candidate, member of a party, contributor here etc), but I had to look it up to remind myself what TTIP is.

    I’m sure you are better informed about politics in general than the average person but TTIP is an issue for left-leaning voters & I don’t think that’s where you sit on the political spectrum. You can correct me, if I’m wrong about that.

  48. @ ToH

    I like the idea that Companies would have the right to sue Governments.

    I don’t think you have the majority with you on that!

  49. @ ToH

    Suing government’s is a quite complicated legal issue. In some EU countries it is possible just like in any other commercial disputes. In some (France, for example) only if a court proceeding can be brought against a named individual (civil servant or politician) – then the government becomes the defendant.

    In the UK, of course, the Crown cannot be sued, thus whenever the government acts on behalf of the monarch, there cannot be a court procedure against it (cf the asbestosis case against the Inland Revenue – having said that I seem to remember a groundbreaking case, but somehow I forgot all details). However, based on international treaties, foreign companies (but not British), and institutions can sue the UK government.

  50. Further to the suing the government (apologies for the extra apostrophe – iPad thinks that plural should be abolished and replaced with genitive …). Phillip Morris sued the Australian government on the basis of an international treaty between HK and Australia (it lost – sanity was victorious) when the latter introduced neutral packaging.

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