EU Polling update

I’ve taken the last week off following the 5th May elections, and so have most of the polls. There have, however, been two new EU polls published over the last week, so just to keep everyone up to speed their topline figures were:

YouGov/Good Morning Britain – Remain 42%, Leave 40%, Don’t know/won’t vote 19% (tabs)
ICM – Remain 44%, Leave 46%, Don’t know 11% (tabs)


202 Responses to “EU Polling update”

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  1. Boris is correct in that there is no emotional attachment to a sense of ‘Europe’. Mentioning Hitler was a big mistake.

  2. @Carfrew

    “Well, put it that way and if invaded by a superior army and you commonly have a choice: surrender or be wiped out.
    Similarly, given a Hobson’s choice between “hammer your economy with austerity or we’ll hammer it via the banks” isn’t exactly a free choice sans coercion is it.”

    I don’t like the militaristic analogies. I’m strongly against what Germany and international financiers have done to Greece, but the fact remains that they signed up to rules and laws and seriously breached them.

    Even then they had a choice. They could have withdrawn from the Euro. They could even have left the EU altogether. We’re these easy choices? No. But they still existed.

    Rigid austerity to a greater or lesser extent is being forced globally on all but the very strongest economies (where it is a genuine choice). We don’t talk of the IMF seeking global domination. Or the World Bank. Or any other intitutions for that matter. Yet we are forced to listen to the actions of a Union of countries, where are the rules were agreed to freely in advance, allegedly behaving like a military dictatorship.

    It would be helpful if people had a sense of proportion so that we could analyse these matters rationally. We elect politicians to deal with issues in a solemn, dignified and proportionate manner. Not to raise emotional arguments and prey on the public’s fears.

  3. @ EOTW

    “I wondered with the difference between online and telephone poll results, if we actually had online voting would the online polls be more accurate than the telephone?”

    I think the answer is – probably not.

    The problem with online polls is that the responses tend to reflect the most ‘politically engaged’ . This is not such a problem when such people are equally distributed on either side. However, if those supporting one side are far more motivated to respond than the other then you get a distorted result.

    As for the theory mentioned above that the polls are inaccurate because they over-represent the 18-24s: The problem with this is that if this were so, we’d have seen a pattern where The Green party was overstated, and UKIP understated by polling figures. However, the elections were had in the past 3 years have consistently seen UKIP’s vote share overstated.

  4. @Raf

    If I had known you’d pick on the militaristic analogy thing I’d have picked summat different. Maybe a medical analogy, where given a choice between losing a leg or your life.

    The point is sure, there were a variety of rubbish choices given, but the EU forced this by choosing to force Austerity.

    You are kinda leaving out the choice not to invade, or force austerity. Sure Greece signed up to rules, but other countries breach rules.

    Whether they really have that much choice about getting into debt is another question anyway. Because if other countries are stoking their economies by going into debt and letting banks run amok, kinda hard for a small economy with issues to compete without doing similar.

  5. @Raf

    I should add, that the Greeks did not cause the banking crisis. Numerous countries suffered. Difference is, we have our own currency, so we can devalue, slash interest rates, pile in loads of pseudo-printed money in a way that Greece couldn’t do for itself. And smaller economies can be less resilient anyway.

    Thus If offered to join a system where you have to give up some of your protective measures when suffering a crisis not of your own making, it’s not unreasonable to hope that the EU won’t then take the opportunity to kick you while you’re down forcing s crap choice you have to take because the situations a bit dire.

    (No military analogies were used in the making of this post!! Although others have used loan shark analogies before now…)

  6. Good evening all from a fine evening here in Itchen Valley Hampshire.

    The polls still look too close to call but after Big BJ’s remarks today I’m hoping the momentum will come over to Brexit.

    “Boris Johnson has compared the EU’s aims to Hitler’s, saying both involved the intention to unify Europe under a single “authority”
    ….

    Absolutely spot on and before the political correct brigade go into a hissy-tissy fit he was not comparing anything he said today with the dreadful atrocities Hitler committed but of course the wee correction police brigade will do just that…..Hissssssss

    Big B!!….Take a bow son.

  7. Yes Greece is an example of how a big bloated unaccountable and undemocratic project such as the EU can bully parts of its portfolio into submission.

    Surely the Greece backdrop should be the moral reason for dumping the EU?

  8. The rules Greece (and the rest) signed up to, it must be noted, are not the product of some external, benign, neutral presence. They are the product of political manoeuvrings by those they govern, influenced predominantly by national interests. The same applies equally importantly to their enforcement.

    A domestic parallel, it seems to me, would be something like the influence the governing parties have over the workings of the boundary commission (if the parties had much more control than at present!), or the likelihood of proportional representation being implemented by a party that just got elected under FPTP.

    It seems that it’s the sort of issue that’s at the core of the EURef question. How the rules should be made, not the individuals who make them or what particular rules they might make.

    I was pleasantly surprised to catch the end of Woman’s Hour with Gisela Stuart willfully refusing to be drawn on issues of policy and personality in elation to the EURef, insisting that the question is instead a systems one. It’s not a point that seems to excite the media on all sides, and not one you tend to see promoted.

  9. ” the polls still look too close to call”

    That’s a rather an odd statement when there have been no EU polls at all released for a week, and no phone polls for three weeks.

    But leaving that aside, it’s worth noting that the best odds available from the bookies are 1/3 for Remain, and 5/2 for Leave, so clearly they see it rather differently. As Matt Singh explains it’s only close if you choose to ignore or disregard the contrary evidence from the phone polls.

    http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2016/05/11-eu-referendum-update.html/

  10. Allan Christie

    Of course, Boris could also have cited King George of Bohemia in 1464, Charlemagne in 800, William Penn in 1693, Saint-Pierre in 1713, Mazzini in 1843, Victor Hugo in 1847 – and many others.

    I may well have missed the evidence that Napoleon wanted a European Union. Indeed his creation of new states along national lines would be a contra-indication of that.

    But then, Boris is acting like a politician, not a historian.

    Selecting examples of England’s traditional enemies, who successfully pushed their dominance of the continent through military means is simply designed to push emotional buttons.

    There was no need for him to make any comparison “with the dreadful atrocities Hitler committed ”

    He knew perfectly well that many would make those comparisons automatically – without the need for any prompting.

  11. @Popeye

    “The rules Greece (and the rest) signed up to, it must be noted, are not the product of some external, benign, neutral presence. They are the product of political manoeuvrings by those they govern, influenced predominantly by national interests. The same applies equally importantly to their enforcement.”

    Except that there are 27 separare national interests, a Council drawn current elected officials of the 27 and a directly elected European Parliament (as well as the members states separately for areas of shared competence). This ensures, in most cases, that a single national interest, or vested interest, cannot dominate; and that enforcement of rules (at political level) is based on collective agreement – a compromise. There is also an independent Constitutional Court to oversee adherence by the other institutions to the Treaties.

  12. Hmm. Some economies can dominate though, and interest rates that might suit them then get inflicted on struggling economies. And some of these more powerful economies, don’t they get away with breaking some rules?

  13. Meanwhile, the source of the Old Trafford bomb has been found!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36297390

  14. Not only getting away with breaking rules, but handy exemptions, e.g. for our banking industry…

  15. Yes, yes, we can talk a lot of nonsense about Greece, and I don’t like austerity or how Greece has been treated either.
    But to compare the EU with Hitler’s or Napoleon’s ‘projects’ is so ridiculous as not to be worth the virtual ink on this website.
    Boris shoudl be ashamed of himself but he doesn’t do shame, and his apologists should engage brain.

  16. OLDNAT

    “He knew perfectly well that many would make those comparisons automatically – without the need for any prompting”
    _______

    Much in the same way as Ken Livingston did when he mentioned Hitler?

  17. GUYMONDE

    Aye we have apologists on both sides who should engage brain.

  18. CARFREW
    Hmm. Some economies can dominate though, and interest rates that might suit them then get inflicted on struggling economies. And some of these more powerful economies, don’t they get away with breaking some rules?
    ________

    rooools R rooools when it suits them but rules are designed to be bent to the delight of Bavarian’s and Frankfurter’s.

  19. @Carfrew

    “Hmm. Some economies can dominate though, and interest rates that might suit them then get inflicted on struggling economies. And some of these more powerful economies, don’t they get away with breaking some rules?”

    That’s an argument against the operation of the Euro, rather than the EU.

  20. Allan Christie

    A bit pointless raising that with me. I’m not a supporter of Ken Livingstone (or English Labour for that matter).

    You were the one praising Boris.

    I am more than happy to accept that there are many who are ignorant of history – some are simply not very well-informed fools.

    Others are perfectly knowledgeable, but choose to “mis-speak” what they know for political effect. Some of those are even professional historians like Starkey!

    The foolishness of Boris’s stance is simply demonstrated by substituting “Edward I and Cromwell” for “Napoleon and Hitler” and “UK” for “EU” in his comments.

  21. ALLAN CHRISTIE:
    “Ken Livingston”

    More whataboutery. Both former mayors have said idiotic things. Both Labour and Leave look deeply tarnished.

  22. I haven’t got a clue which way to vote on Brexit. Boris and Dave seem to be resorting to increasingly extreme and ridiculous tactics.

    I cannot work out which campaign is more inept!

  23. Natalie Bennett to stand down.

    What a huge surprise….

  24. Seems odd to describe Labour as ‘deeply tarnished’ when Ken Livingstone holds no office at present, and is (rightly) suspended from the party.

  25. OLDNAT

    Well I call it quits.. Camo did a cameo appearance last week and hinted somewhere along the lines that without the EU we may see the resurrection of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian empire.

    Next week according to Cameron Putin will invade Narnia if the UK dumped the EU.

    It’s quite troublesome stuff but not enough to change my mind but I would draw the line if the price of rhubarb was to go up by a penny with Brexit.

  26. It seems to me that Boris was making valid historical comparisons. The key section was “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,”

    He is absolutely correct historically, as was Ken Livingstone. However it is surely true that both of them realised that mentioning Hitler would garner more publicity than if they had not. It would be a pity if because of political correctness Hitler became ‘He who must not be named’ as in Harry Potter.

  27. @Bromleyben

    “I haven’t got a clue which way to vote on Brexit. Boris and Dave seem to be resorting to increasingly extreme and ridiculous tactics.”

    My natural inclination is to want to punish both of these politicians, such is the low esteem in which I hold them, but my problem is that my vote in the Referendum, however I decide to cast it, will benefit one of them; potentially enormously.

    Long way to go, and I will be very interested in the eve of poll opinion polls, but I’m starting to think I will abstain or maybe even spoil my ballot paper.

    It’s an utterly ludicrous referendum that shouldn’t be taking place at all. A white elephant that is getting the quality of campaigning it deserves. A Cameron internal party management stunt dressed up as a “once in a generation” decision that the people of Britain want and deserve.

    The purest cobblers and Cameron deserves a giant kick in the goolies on June 23rd, not least for his abject failure of leadership and lack of political courage in offering up the referendum instead of facing down his right wing MPs.

  28. JAMES E
    Well it’s not just Livingstone, but fair point well made.
    Meanwhile, Boris is untouchable because he is the de facto leader of Leave. God help them.

  29. @CB “It’s an utterly ludicrous referendum that shouldn’t be taking place at all. A white elephant that is getting the quality of campaigning it deserves. A Cameron internal party management stunt dressed up as a “once in a generation” decision that the people of Britain want and deserve.”

    Hear Hear!

  30. Pete B

    If that is true then it is also true that –

    “Edward I, Cromwell, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The UK is an attempt to do this by different methods,”

    Both statements (Boris’s and that one) could only be described as “valid historical comparisons” by someone who misunderstands “valid” and/or “historical” – or who is desperate to make a partisan political point.

  31. BROMLEYBEN
    “I haven’t got a clue which way to vote on Brexit. Boris and Dave seem to be resorting to increasingly extreme and ridiculous tactics”
    _______

    It’s very a simple choice.. If you want to protect Narnia then vote remain however if you want to protect British square turnips then vote leave.

    Don’t listen to either side on the economy because the truth lies somewhere in between.

    Or you could base your rational on accountability and sovereignty.

  32. I don’t think many will miss Natalie Benson. If they get the right leader the Greens could take a lot of votes from Labour right across the UK.

  33. @Crossbat11
    “It’s an utterly ludicrous referendum that shouldn’t be taking place at all.”

    Four million people voted UKIP (whose raison d’etre is the referendum) at the last General Election. Many Tory and Labour MPs support the notion. I even recall LibDems wanting a referendum in order to settle the question. It was a manifesto commitment by the Tories, and may even have tipped the balance towards them getting a majority.

  34. Natalie Benson??

    I won’t miss her as I don’t know who she is!

    ;-)

  35. Allan Christie

    “Or you could base your rational on accountability and sovereignty.

    You could.

    But it might be more rational to decide that a rationale that vests sovereignty in an unaccountable monarch in a Parliament which has one unaccountable chamber and the other accountable to the City of London Remembrancer may be a poor choice.

  36. @OldNat

    I could also add in a much broader sense that most of the world’s current countries are federal states. Not confederations – granted. But federations of some sort. In many cases, multi-tribal federations.

  37. CROSSBAT

    Probably quite a few home truths in your post but we are where we are and away from the inner workings of the Tory party there are a lot of people who are genuinely concerned about the ramifications of a remain or Brexit vote.

    I lived through the Scottish referendum and walked the killing fields of Castlemilk, I was also mature enough to ignore project fears big patronising woman..”The referendum!..go eat your cereal”

    Cameron is now patronising woman in drag and if the elected experts can’t come out with a mature and grown up campaign then I expect voters like me won’t take them that seriously.

  38. ON
    ‘“Edward I, Cromwell, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The UK is an attempt to do this by different methods,”

    Both statements (Boris’s and that one) could only be described as “valid historical comparisons” by someone who misunderstands “valid” and/or “historical” – or who is desperate to make a partisan political point.’

    I believe it is true for instance that the Scottish delegates to Cromwell’s Parliament petitioned to remain after the Restoration. It was only because all of the Commonwealth’s laws were struck down that the Union was dissolved.

    P.S. Please refrain from the ad hominem attacks. I always try to avoid them myself, but don’t push it.

  39. @PETE B

    “He is absolutely correct historically

    He really isn’t. I know I am being a history pedant but to quote a comment from the Guardian…

    “Neither of them ever wanted to rule Europe with one government. Napoleon wanted a French-dominated Continent where the key players are bound to be his allies, and Britain is forced to turn away from Europe. Hitler wanted to expand Germany to the East – to gain ‘Lebensraum’. He wanted to weaken all western powers enough to make it impossible for them to oppose this. Note that Hitler did not occupy the whole of France even when he could have done that very easily in 1940. He opted to accept the Vichy government.

    What did end badly for both of the above is invading Russia.

  40. OLDNAT

    “But it might be more rational to decide that a rationale that vests sovereignty in an unaccountable monarch in a Parliament which has one unaccountable chamber and the other accountable to the City of London Remembrancer may be a poor choice”
    ______

    I hold the same views as you on “the other place” but they are our dinosaurs and if we want to get rid of the second chamber then we can if we ever elect a government who has the balls to do it and as for the monarch, the Queen holds no real power and it’s just all ceremony pomp to boost Japanese tourism.

  41. @Raf

    I wasn’t making an argument against the EU though, or even the Euro. I was just supporting Syzygy’s point about Austerity, and exploring your idea of choice, my point being that those imposing Austerity might, in practice, have had rather more choice than the Greeks…

  42. @CMJ

    “Natalie Benson”

    Either Natalie Bennett, who has announced her decision to step down as England and Wales leader of the Greens; or Caroline Lucas’s butler.

  43. EOTW
    Ok, I can accept that neither Napoleon or Hitler wanted to directly rule every single country in Europe, but simply to have some of those countries doing as they were told. e.g. Quisling in Norway.

    Is this very different from what the EU is doing? Greece and Italy had to have EU-inspired ‘technocrat’ (i.e. non-elected) governments for a while when they didn’t toe the line. Please note that I am not insinuating that EU methods are the same as the Nazis – they are much more subtle.

  44. RAF

    “I could also add in a much broader sense that most of the world’s current countries are federal states. Not confederations – granted. But federations of some sort. In many cases, multi-tribal federations.”

    Which seems a reasonable response to the need to balance (however partially) the various identities within a political union.

    I still find it surprising that the powers that determine the policies of the UK have set their face against such a solution for the UK so consistently, and for so long.

    I suspect that the current policy of controlling opinion by converting the BBC into even more of a state broadcaster won’t enhance loyalty to the UK Union – no matter how many “Great British Embroidery” programmes it produces. :-)

  45. ON
    At least we can perhaps agree that the BBC should be cut drastically and be made to compete with commercial providers?

  46. Did the Greeks have any choice ?
    Grexit – leaving the Euro – was never an option on offer to Greece.
    The bailout plans were not intended to stabilise the Greek economy, they were intended to stabilise the Euro.
    If the EU authorities had cared about Greece, they would have offered a managed exit. It would have been painful, with a severe recession for a couple of years, but Then the Greeks would have seen a recovery. The strength and sustainability of that recovery would have depended on what (free) choices Greece made in adjusting their economy.

    As it was, the EU was determined to avoid any undermining of the Euro and the acquis communautaire as a one way street. As a result, Greece struggles on with no hope of escaping financial control from Brussels and Frankfurt.

    The EU has a serious lack of transparency, never mind democratic accountability. Every referendum which has gone against the project has been forced to be rerun. The common assumption, should the UK vote to leave, that our erstwhile partners will seek to punish us in the ensuing negotiations is just another facet of that bullying streak.

    The key difference between the UK and other member states is subtle, but also explains why project fear is getting more desperate.

    The reality is that if the UK were to vote leave by a majority of just one vote, asking for a rerun would push that majority past a million.

  47. @ Carfew

    You do a very good job of supporting/expanding my point. And I don’t think that there is much of a disagreement with Raf … I think we are all on the same side re: austerity and the way that Greece has been treated.

    All of which is very much the point that Giselle Stuart is making about the system and the structures of the EU. The difference between those on the left between Remainers and Leavers are in essence about whether one believes that the systems and structures can be changed, or not.

    Having said that, a big concern for me is what the UK will actually be signing up to in voting to Remain. There seems to be a number of changes pending until after the Indyref, not least of which is the Five Presidents’ Report. My guess is that a Remain vote will be taken as carte blanche agreement for whatever. In contrast, a UK after a Lexit will be relatively straightforward. The UK does not need trade deals or to join up to a single market. It is quite capable of trading as an independent nation.

  48. Pete B

    Fair enough re ad hominem.

    So, what am I to make of someone who says “I can accept that neither Napoleon or Hitler wanted to directly rule every single country in Europe, but simply to have some of those countries doing as they were told. e.g. Quisling in Norway.

    Is this very different from what the EU is doing?”

    There is a gaping hole in your argument.

    Who is the dictator of a single country that, having invaded and conquered other states, is determining that some others in the EU do as they are told?

    Were you to argue that a dominant group within a coalition of states, who had decided to adopt a common currency, forced through decisions which disadvantaged some of their partners, I would totally agree with you.

    But you don’t make any such argument. You insist on making an abstruse and inappropriate comparison with military conquest.

    Just because someone on your side who misunderstands or distorts history to make a partisan point, there is no need to follow that line.

    Assert your intellectual sovereignty! Despise the establishment figures who twist reality to control the plebs! You are not a number, you are a free man!

    Oh. I do beg your pardon. I thought I was watching a rerun of The Prisoner there! :-)

  49. Paul H-j and Syzygy

    Well said. One question Syz, what’s Lexit? Latvian Exit?

  50. Syzygy

    “It [UK] is quite capable of trading as an independent nation.”

    So which “nation” is that? The UK state is perfectly capable of existing without partners in a political union – just as its national components are capable of doing the same.

    However, the question facing us in this referendum is whether the balance of advantage (for the whole state and/or its component nations) lies in being within or outwith this particular Union.

    For Scots – pretty much the same question that we considered in 2014! :-)

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