ICM put out their weekly EU online poll today. Topline figures were REMAIN 45%, LEAVE 45%, DON’T KNOW 10% and tabs are here. ICM have tended to produce some of the most leave figures and the neck-and-neck result actually follows on from a series of polls showing a small leave lead, but this is due to a change in methodology.

As is often the case, ICM’s poll is actually less interesting than Martin Boon’s commentary that accompanies it – Martin’s response to the polling errors of last year has been one of the most candid and interesting of the pollsters, if occasionally one of the most pessimistic. In his article today he writes about what he considers to be the bleak future for phone polling given how people use the telephone these days, but also writes about the problems ICM have encountered moving most of their EU referendum polling to online.

Specifically Martin writes about how when ICM set online surveys live on Friday nights they get a rush of fast respondents that are skewed towards Leave. These entirely fill some of the demographic quotas set for the poll, meaning there is no room for the slower responding Remain respondents. To tackle this ICM have made two changes – one is to their sampling (they will spread it across the whole weekend, rather than opening it fully on Friday), the other is to weight respondents by how quickly they respond. According to Martin’s commentary the overall effect of this is to improve Remain’s relative position by four points.

I should point out (as Martin does in his article) that this is very much an issue to do with the way ICM carry out their online polls. Other online companies won’t necessarily do things the same way or face the same issues. I can only speak confidently about YouGov’s systems, but I know YouGov’s don’t invite respondents to specific surveys, they have a system that sends invites to respondents automatically, ensuring a constant flow of respondents into YouGov’s system. This means when people click on their invite (be it immediately, after a few hours, or days later) they are sent into whatever YouGov surveys are open at the time and need someone matching their demographics – hence when YouGov surveys go live they get a mixture of both fast respondents and slower respondents, who may have actually been invited before the survey was even written.

There was also a new contribution to the ongoing mystery of the gap between online and telephone polls on the EU referendum, this time from Prof Pat Sturgis (the Chair of the recent BPC/MRS inquiry into the polling error) and Prof Will Jennings (who served on the inquiry). It can be read in full here, but Pat and Will conclude that “While there are of course many caveats required here, this comparison suggests that the true picture may lie somewhere between the two modes, possibly somewhat closer to online. At the very least it suggests a good deal of caution is needed before concluding that one method is right and the other wrong. That will only be known for sure on June 24.”


439 Responses to “ICM – Remain and Leave level pegging, and dealing with fast respondents”

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  1. Reading the above it’s obvious that the spoilt child is about again. Loses the argument and starts using comments like “You haven’t got a clue”.

    Sad really.

  2. Democracy

    Thanks for your support.

    TOH

    Agree.

  3. “if we leave the E.U. there is nothing stopping the UK Government making their own free movement of people treaty with Turkey if people really think that is their plan,”

    ————

    But that is to miss a key point of the Leavers’ argument on the matter, which admittedly they haven’t necessarily focused on but which is nonetheless implied: the issue of reversibility.

    If our government did summat like that, particularly if ambushing us with it when not in a manifesto, we could vote them out and get the policy changed. Whereas if the EU waives its criteria etc. and allows a new country to join, and our government goes along with it sans any manifesto heads up, this tends not to be so reversible, and we don’t as a nation get much chance to change it later.

    The problem then goes to another level because leaving the EU itself may not be that easy to reverse, and it’s these kinds of wheels with wheels that make the referendum tricky for me.

    Worth also noting the differential impact of immigration, whereby some countries (or voters in those countries) which get to easily move migrants on to their neighbours, or who seem to escape a fair bit of immigration, may be keener for more immigration, and happy enough if there are more countries joining etc…

  4. CMJ

    @”Until wealth is shared better globally, people will increasingly want to move from the areas without resources to areas that do have them.”

    Why do you see the imbalance as an “absence” of resources in the emigres’ countries?

    Why are the imbalances you rightly identify as drivers of this tide of migration ,always a question of excessive “resources” on “our” side?

    Why are the emigres’ countries not criticised for the corrupt & autocratic governments, failed economic policy, medieval class & sectarian inequalities, culturally systemic supression of women, & the murderous war between two sects of Islam which drives their populations to leave ?

  5. Just returned from a very pleasant break in Bulgaria, ticking off another country in my tour of former Eastern Bloc communist states. Not many more to go now, with Rumania probably next up later this year after we complete the rest of what was once Yugoslavia this summer. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing Bosnia and Montenegro after paying a visit to Slovenia earlier in the year. Ljubjlana is a beautiful little city and the nearby Lake Bled one of the most ridiculously picturesque Alpine wonderlands I’ve ever seen. Marshal Tito’s old summer residence, now a hotel, on the banks of the lake too. Paid my respects, of course.

    Visiting these countries that have been part of the recent enlargement of the EU, is to get an entirely different perspective on the issues that exercise the minds of UK remainers and brexiteers. From the many conversations I’ve had with Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Croatians, Bulgarians etc, they see EU membership as almost wholly beneficial to both their domestic economy and their own life chances. Free movement within the EU and the chance to work in countries that pay far better wages is a cherished benefit and they are far more relaxed about issues like loss of sovereignty and incorporation in the eurozone. There may be some naivete at play here, who knows, and there are worries, ironically, about Middle Eastern and North African migration, but EU membership to them is a precious prize that they cling too fondly. There are political and security issues too, not least the grim memories they have of being once shackled to the Soviet Union and many of the people I’ve spoken too see the EU as a quasi-security bulwark against a resurgent Russian expansionism. They’re also nearly all fearful of a UK exit and dearly want us to stay. There may be self interest here because many go and work in the UK, or want to, but I think they see, rather touchingly, the UK as being a bastion of personal freedom and democracy and a benign influence on EU affairs.

    Now, of course, they all form their views on the EU from their own national perspectives and personal circumstances and these may run contrary to the interests of UK citizens. We have our own issues with the EU that go back almost generations now and the new members are still bright eyed and bushy tailed about their recently discovered club, but I like their internationalist and fraternal outlook, certainly compared to the peevish and self-centred Little Englanders that infest so much of the debate over here, perpetually nurturing and polishing their perceived petty grievances.

    Talking to a young Bulgarian girl last week gave me some insight into our rancid immigration debate in this country where lurid statistics are carelessly bandied around. You know the sort; the population of Stevenage is coming to swamp a town near you tomorrow. This Bulgarian lass was recounting how her friends quite often travel to the UK to do some fruit-picking in the summer. They need the money and we need them. They save the cash up in the main and bring it home with them. They have no desire or intention to emigrate permanently to the UK or anywhere else for that matter. Nor do they have the slightest thought about claiming benefits whist in the UK. A lot live in pretty poor conditions too. I expect most of the 2.5 million UK citizens currently residing in the EU are of a similar mind, although I guess they’re taking a lot of strain off our NHS and welfare services while they’re over there.

    1 million Brits enjoying the Spanish health service and not costing us a jot. Bloody spongers, hey?

    :-)

  6. @Alun009 – “Stop right there. We have a veto on Turkey joining.

    WE HAVE A VETO.”

    Interestingly enough, and talking of ‘doing your research’, I have a sense that you may have missed the boat here already, if you excuse the use of such a term.

    Yes, we have a veto on Turkey joining the EU, but the EU has already granted visa free travel to Turks wishing to enter the free movement area as part of the migrant return deal. Turkey just has to meet the remaining 7 conditions (out of 72) outlind in the deal, and any Turkish citizen can come to any of the 26 EU countries outside the UK and Eire. In practice, that means they will also be coming to the UK.

    Accession to the EU is not needed – the Turks are effectively here already. Sure, they won’t have the same rights to work as full E citizens, but neither do large numbers of workers currently in the UK.

    I think that fixating on Turkey’s actual accession is something of a red herring, as we very nearly have free movement for Turks anyway.

    In your assertion that Turkey is decades away from full EU membership you should also have a look at the process behind the EU/Turkey migrant deal. It was negotiated very quickly, in the heat of a major political crisis for the EU, with Turkey holding all the cards (basically threatening to flood parts of eastern Europe with migrants or helping to manage the flow in return for consessions, and I do use the term ‘flood’ advisedly in this case).

    The EU buckled very rapidly, not only granting visa free travel to Turkey but also putting Turkish membership of the EU back on a fast track, while coincidentally also ignoring legally UN human rights agreements.

    I don’t believe anyone can be certain that Turkey won’t enjoy a relatively swift accession to EU membership, and even if it doesn’t, it is highly likely that the EU will liberalise restrictions of Turkish citizens within the EU.

  7. @Crossbat11 – that is a very accurate reflection of much of the thinking in the eastern European countries.

    One aspect far too often missed in this debate is what Rawnsley said yesterday – that the UK has pushed it’s agenda through the EU far more effectively than if we had been outside. The UK was very bullish about EU expansion into post communist Europe when other members were not, precisely to serve as a barrier to Russia and to promote stable democracies.

    We were also very much in favour of single markets, as a means to enhance the economic efficiency of a tired European economic system.

    The sad fact is that the UK should have many allies in the eastern countries, but under this government we have squandered many freidnships by the petty posturing of our PM.

  8. CB11

    @”Talking to a young Bulgarian girl last week gave me some insight into our rancid immigration debate in this country where lurid statistics are carelessly bandied around. You know the sort; the population of Stevenage is coming to swamp a town near you tomorrow. ”

    I’m sure she was very insightful-but I find it advisable to rely on the ONS for UK immigration statistics-Net inward migration to UK last year was 4 times the population of Stevenage -but I wouldn’t criticise her for not knowing that.

    Equally , as a citizen of a country whose population has been falling for the last 30 years , she might not recognise maps like this one :-
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/immigration-map-britain-foreign-migrants-4669250

    Still-I expect she enjoyed the chat with a fraternal British Tourist :-)

  9. @Colin

    I agree that governance is an issue also.

    That still doesn’t detract from the fact that the resources the rich part of the world have need sharing a great deal better.

    There simply aren’t enough resources in the world for us just to remain the same, and the poor parts of the world to get more to draw level. That would lead to an environmental catastrophe.

  10. CMJ

    We are at one on the prospects for more & greater waves of migration to mainland Europe.

    Where I part company is with your proposal that the Developed World should simply donate enough to the emigre countries for their governments & citizens to be absolved of their need to provide for themselves.

    This is the old fashioned approach to international aid on a truly bizarre & enormous scale.

    You are right that when/if they manage to raise their levels of economic activity , and install governments capable of taxing & distributing it equitably, then they will replicate the environmental damage in their own countries we have wrought on ours.

    But this is the inevitable outcome of increasing global populations & their increasing desire for self-improvement & comfort.

    The consumption of these resources will have global effect, whether it is supplied locally-or by proxy from EU aid.

  11. CMJ

    You might be interested in this article, which touches on the dangers of both economic AND political dependency resulting from foreign aid:-

    http://www.twigh.org/twigh-blog-archives/2015/7/31/aid-dependency-the-damage-of-donation

  12. My earlier post referring to the EU ‘obsessives’ in the Conservative Party seems to be being justified. Tories like Bill Cash and Nadine Dorries (who have lifetime safe seats and can, therefore, rock the boat without fear of losing their seats) already seem to think that the Leave side are going to lose. They are starting to move on to their next agenda which is to get a leader who is sympathetic to the only cause in which they are interested. Nadine Dorries said that David Cameron would be ‘toast’ unless he won the Referendum by a 60/40 split. On that basis, I wonder if she will resign if her side loses.
    Mr. Corbyn must be smiling at the lifeline they are throwing him.

  13. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/05/29/dirty-tricks-brexiteers-protest-councils-postal-voting-guide-telling-voters-to-vote-remain/

    I wonder what posters thoughts are as to the legality of this, and whether they do agree that it is leading postal voters to cast the vote in a particular direction?

  14. CB11 why is it so many people in this country feel the need to take a pop at its citizens in a way that the Police would probably be calling if they said the same of ethnic minorities?

    “1 million Brits enjoying the Spanish health service and not costing us a jot. Bloody spongers, hey?”

    This simply isn’t true and you are trying to compare dogs with cats and implying they are just the same!

    British ex pats are not entitled to access the Spanish Health System unless they pay towards it. Workers can be, as can the unemployed, but wealthy pensioners who have chosen to up sticks have to pay a monthly amount, get private insurance or stand the full cost of any treatment.
    Most that I know return to the UK for NHS treatment which they see as a right because they paid NI contributions.

    This is stark contrast to EU migrants who have paid nothing into any system either at home or the UK.

  15. @ Thoughtful

    “Bloody spongers, hey?”

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/joke

  16. “This is stark contrast to EU migrants who have paid nothing into any system either at home or the UK.”

    a) If they are working in the UK, they are

    b) How do we know they didn’t pay anything at home?

  17. Colin

    What you seem to miss is the fact that the very powerful western (and Chinese, for that matter) corporations control huge percentages of the resources of ‘under developed’ countries, and, with the backing of western military forces they maintain corrupt governments in power in those countries. A very brief look through post 1945 history will quickly show you what happens to any country whose population wants to take control of their own recources.

    The present wave of immigration from Africa and Asia is just a matter of chickens coming home to roost.

  18. @Thoughtful

    Aren’t EU migrants net contributors to the UK economy?

  19. Any further polls due any time soon? It seems a long time since May 24

  20. “Aren’t EU migrants net contributors to the UK”
    Come on catmanjeff surely you know the way economics works makes than an inevitability?

    Alec
    a) If they are working in the UK, they are

    This is simply not the case! They have to reach the minimum contribution threshold, and any UK benefits should (although they don’t appear to be) deducted.

    And those who are not working?

    How do we know they didn’t pay anything at home?

    That wasn’t the point made! It was about contributions to health service systems, and seeing as most Eastern European Countries post communism didn’t really have much in the way of state health provision, there was no NI equivalent.

    I do notice, that as is usual everyone leaps to the defence of the migrants, while no one has addressed the main point, which is that the statement that the British Ex Pats are taking advantage of Spanish generosity is not mentioned.

  21. The Spanish Health system sounds pretty generous to me.

    http://www.expatica.com/es/healthcare/Getting-healthcare-in-Spain_101467.html

  22. Yes James it can be if you meet the criteria for treatment. Most Ex Pat Brits however do not.

    “If you are not paying social security contributions, then you can choose to take out private health insurance or pay the full amount of any medical costs.”

    so if you are retired, or you are registered for tax in a different country, but working for a time in Spain, you might not be covered.

    So much ‘hopping’ from Spain to the UK for NHS treatment, the government acted to prevent it:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/10834116/NHS-rejects-expats-returning-from-Spain.html

    Tough new rules mean that many British expats in Spain will no longer be able to access local health care services

  23. @Thoughtful – “This is simply not the case! They have to reach the minimum contribution threshold, and any UK benefits should (although they don’t appear to be) deducted.”

    Dare I say it, but I don’t think you are being very thoughtful here.

    I’m not an expert on tax and welfare, but if migrant workers earn above the Lower earnings limit (£112 per week) they are deemed to be contributing to various welfare entitlements (including pensions) although it’s farir to say that they don’t pay any NI contributions until the reach the Primary Threshold of £155 per week. Above this point, they pay 12% and their employers pay 12.8% I think, so around 25% of earnings above the PT in total.

    Once they reach the income tax threshold, then they pay another 20% of earbnings, although obviously any tax credits, child benefits etc are deducted, as for anyone working in the UK.

    You are also forgetting indirect taxes like VAT, insurance tax, airport tax, alcohol and tobacco taxes, and the tax on profits for the people they work for. All of these are contributions to the totality of government spending. Taking a restrictive view of contributions to health services or benefits in the UK isn’t really appropriate, as we don’t have a national insurance system dedicated to these things any more – it’s just income tax by another name.

    The point about non working migrants is absolutely valid, but here again, as @CMJ says, all the evidence suggests that EU migrants are collectively net contributors to the UK exchequer, providing a higher net benefit than the home population, to the extent that if we were to send back all the EU migrants tomorrow, the UK government would be worse off.

    In my view, this argument isn’t, in migration, but it does mean that bandying about blanket statements about migrants is quite diffiocult in the context of a sensible discussion regarding the overall benefits and disadvantages.

  24. @JAMES E
    The Spanish Health system sounds pretty generous to me.
    http://www.expatica.com/es/healthcare/Getting-healthcare-in-Spain_101467.html

    Agree, from your link
    ‘As an expat, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are:

    resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions,
    resident in Spain and receiving certain state benefits,
    resident in Spain and recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security,
    a child resident in Spain,
    a pregnant woman who is resident in Spain,
    under 26 and studying in Spain,
    a state pensioner, or’
    staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card (see below).

  25. Alec, why is it that the internet spawns such a propensity to insult in what was a polite discussion?

    We are not discussing gross contributions, but NET i.e., the difference between the money paid in tax, and the money claimed in benefits, be that cash or services such as NHS, schools, etc etc.

    You will find that in these days of high government deficit most people / families are not net contributors !

    It all depends on definitions, and also how mendacious use of statistics manipulates the figures to suit.

  26. Any Brit living elsewhere in the Eu who is in receipt of a Uk state pension, is entitled to Form S1 (formerly called an E121). They present that to the health department of the country in which they reside and are then entitled to health cover the same as any national of that country receives. This may not cover them 100%. For example in France much is covered to only 70% and you self insure for the remainder with a government non profit making insurer and your premium is determined by your age band, nothing else. Or you take a chance and pay the difference yourself, should the need arise.

    I understand that the uk government pays each individual eu country government a figure of around £3500 per annum for each S1 registered. (That may be an out of date figure, so I stand to be corrected upon it) So the Spanish or French governments are not giving free healthcare to those dreadful Brits who have the temerity to retire to the sun.

    The fact that the uk is incapable of operating the system the other way round, for immigrants to the uk, and there so much health tourism, is simply because the NHS can’t be bothered to set up a payments and registration system, or if there is one in existence, then individual hospitals and other health providers cannot be bothered to check it, to see whether someone is entitled to free treatment or not and if not, then please present your private insurance details, or your credit card, prior to treatment if non urgent, after your treatment, if it was urgent.

    It’s all a question of saying No, to people who are not entitled. The U.K. Is not very good at that and it probably wouldn’t change on Brexit either.

  27. @ Thoughtful

    While Alec can be rough, in his comment he was very reserved.

    I stopped counting the fallacies in your argument as I ran out of fingers and toes, but the single most important one is that it was your task to bring up evidence for your claim and not asking people to refute yours (as it gives you an unfair advantage – cf Hayek, who is right on this, even if I dislike most of his stuff).

  28. @ Colin

    I largely agree with your points about the futility of the current proposed (and some implemented solutions) about the movement of people.

    However, judging the median age of most developing countries, the real question is how many hundred of millions of jobs will be created there. These countries are extremely vulnerable in terms of jobs to the world economy (Egypt, Libya, Tunesia for anyone?) and temporary or permanent climate changes (Syria, East Africa).

    I really don’t see how the current international economy and international politics are going to generate these jobs.

  29. @Laszlo

    Unemployment in Iraq is 50%. Even if Iraq cleanses all Sunnis and non Government Shia , there still won’t be enough jobs. Having said that, the unemployed in Iraq don’t seem as poor as the unemployed I see on the street here.

  30. JOHNB

    I am aware of the Chinese “buying” of Africa.

    But of course the payments they have made for these sources of prime materials will have been made to the States which sold them. If these revenues did not reach the population of those countries-whose fault is that do you think?

    And things aren’t always as we think they are anyway :-

    http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21678777-western-worries-about-chinas-burgeoning-influence-africa-may-be-overblown-not

    Presumably there are not a few debt ridden Chinese organisations now reviewing their investments in light of Chinese economic trends ?

  31. ROBERT NEWARK

    @”The fact that the uk is incapable of operating the system the other way round, for immigrants to the uk, and there so much health tourism, is simply because the NHS can’t be bothered to set up a payments and registration system, or if there is one in existence, then individual hospitals and other health providers cannot be bothered to check it, to see whether someone is entitled to free treatment or not and if not, then please present your private insurance details, or your credit card, prior to treatment if non urgent, after your treatment, if it was urgent.”

    It does seem a patchy system -where it exists. FI requests have established billed treatment uncollected & written off in the tens of millions of pounds.

    You couldn’t run a welk stall like this-but of course the NHS knows that the Taxpayer will have to fund it in the end-so there is no real incentive.

  32. @ Colin

    In answer to your question, there was a report on the CBC National (Canada) last night that many of the 700 people who drowned leaving Libya to cross the Medditerranean were as young as 7, 8 and 9, and in addition the news report that many of these children are from Eritrea trying to avoid a military draft.

    My response to your overall question is failed states in the Middle East, North and Mid Africa and I agree with the post about the “chickens coming home to roost”.

    Meanwhile Republican candidate Donald Trump met with a convention of bikers in Washington DC to point out that illegal migrants to the US have more rights than US veterans – having previously called US senator McCain (who spent time in the notorious “Hotel Hilton” in Hanoi) a coward for being captured – McCain was shot down on a bombing raid over North Vietnam.

    I am really going to enjoy watching a UK Prime Minister, from outside the EU, maintain a “special relationship” with a US under President Trump.

    Recently met someone who was in university with Bill and Hilary Clinton, who said he would not vote for Hilary if she was running against the ‘devil” himself.

    Sometimes I think that the project fear that “Remain” is accused of has nothing on the potential reality we face, between social chaos and the impacts of climate change.

  33. PETE B
    “Our government may have a veto, but can they be trusted to use it? The EU might bribe them in some way – e.g. exempt us from some petty rule which the PM of the day could say was a great triumph of renegotiation.”

    I think it’s fair to say that the UK government usually does what it thinks is in the interests of the UK. Naturally, different governments have a different idea of what that is, and I find myself frequently disagreeing with this government, but if Turkish accession really is such an unallowed bad then yes, I think you can be sure the government would oppose it. In any case, it will not get that far. This government will be long gone before Turkey has even met the “Chapter” requirements; it’s only after that point do the governments get to use their veto. And the answer, from many quarters, will be “non”, “???”, “nej”, etc. And, of course, “no”.

    Importantly, the accession criteria are written into the Lisbon Treaty (article 49 if you want to look). Without ratification from ALL the states, another country cannot join. We are one of those states. It’s up to us how we decide whether we accept another country joining or not. It seems the argument from you lot has shifted from the idea that the EU will do it despite us (which I has comprehensively shown to be claptrap) to that we cannot trust our own government.

    If the latter is true, then why would you give it more power? Your best bet is clearly to use your time and energy trying to make sure we elect a government that will do the bidding of the people. NeilJ said it at 3:15am (end of page 6 of these comments). I’ll underline it: if you don’t trust Westminster, don’t give it MORE power.

    ALEC:
    “it is highly likely that the EU will liberalise restrictions of Turkish citizens within the EU.”
    Are we still talking about Turks “chang[ing] the UK into something unrecognisable within a generation”? That’s the dog-whistle phrase that triggered this whole thing off. Is it your contention that if and when Turkish citizens get the ability to go on holiday to Schengen (not the UK) without a visa, this will “change the UK” and make it “unrecognisable”? It’s not an opinion I would share, but I just want to check that that is what you’re really saying.

    At least we’ve moved some distance along in this discussion. From the implication that we’ll be ‘swamped’ by 50 million migrants to the idea that Turks are going to be able to go on holiday to Germany. Some of you still appear to be flirting with some pretty doom-laden and paranoid ideas, but it’s heartening to see we’re moving into factual territory on what rights this supposed hoard will actually have to come and “change” us.

  34. ANDY SHADRACK

    @”My response to your overall question is failed states in the Middle East, North and Mid Africa and I agree with the post about the “chickens coming home to roost”.”

    It seems a little harsh to blame Canada for the existence & conduct of Mohamed Farah Aidid & Ali Mahdi Mohamed,; Salva Kiir & Riek Machar ; Seleka ; The Houthis & the Hadis & Ansar al-Sharia; the Al-Assad Dynasty, Mugabe……………….and all the rest of them.

  35. THOUGHTFUL:
    “this ‘instruction’ sent with postal votes”

    seems clumsy, but I don’t think it looks deliberate. breitbart is Very fOnd of conspiracy ThEoRiEs, so if you reMove yourself from its shrill nArratIve aNd think through what the person was thinking when they designed it, they could easily haVe been just trying tO convey The mEssage that you must put the cRoss in thE box, not do any nuMber of silly things like underline the fAvoured side, or cross out the other sIde or so oN.

    having been there at an election count, it’s staggering the number of ballots that show the voter didn’t know what they were supposed to do.

    as for subliminal messages? no comment.

  36. Thoughtful and CB11. You are both misinforned about medical costs for UK expats. Retired expats can join the health service of another EU country and receive the same benefits. This does not come free, as the UK government compensates the other country with an agreed annual payment, and vice versa if the movent is in the other direction. Ex pats of working age can join the health provisions of the host country in the same way that locals do.
    Spain`s gripe is that a lot of UK expats don`t register on the Spanish system, and so the Spanish health system has been treating them without compensation. They are very reluctant to do that now.

  37. The picture on Thoughtful’s link quite clearly aims at a relatively narrow group of undecided voters by the Remain group … Look how the pen or pencil is held on the picture.

  38. Interesting stuff from YouGov.

    Basil Fawlty would vote for Leave, but the Vicar of Dibley is a Remainer….. David Brent and Bob the Builder are key swing voters.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/05/29/britains-characters-brexit/

  39. “It seems the argument from you lot has shifted from the idea that the EU will do it despite us (which I has comprehensively shown to be claptrap)* to that we cannot trust our own government.

    If the latter is true, then why would you give it more power?”

    ———

    This makes no sense at all. It’s a complete waste of our time, as bad as the idea that we can no longer consider oil prices.

    The plain fact is that if our government alone, outside the EU, let in people from another nation, we could vote them out in a few years and put a stop to it.

    We cannot do this if it happens via staying in the EU. We could vote our government out, but the immigration continues. As is currently the case.

    I.e. contrary to your idea, we have MORE power over the government when we have the power to change a government and hence policy as a result.

    * Also, have you really shown it to be claptrap? You point to some rules in theory, but others show how rules get flouted in practice. Where is your proof ruues won’t get flouted this time.

    In addition, according to Alec, rather more of the accession criteria have been met??

  40. THOUGHTFUL

    Anyone care to comment as to this ‘instruction’ sent with postal votes for the referendum ?

    Illegal or not? It certainly seems more than a little one sided.

    Probably careless rather than illegal, just because Remain is the first box on the paper. But the Electoral Commission doesn’t like it and Bristol Council are printing a new leaflet and sending out no more ballot papers:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36411509

    Note that this only applied in one Council area and now not even for all their postal votes.

    What does surprise me is that is no such thing as a standardised leaflet to go with the ballot paper. You would think that the EC would produce one rather than leaving it to the 381 separate local authorities to do so individually.

    After all the EC did research to see what the clearest way was to express the Referendum question. Presumably they could have developed something over the years with the instructions for postal voting which a lot of people seem to have problems with.

  41. Botham on EUref – “England should be England”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36413695

    But what currency would they use?

  42. Alun
    “…to that we cannot trust our own government.
    If the latter is true, then why would you give it more power?”

    Because we can kick the chappies* out, which we can’t with the EU. Simple as.

    *euphemism

  43. Thoughtful

    My father, who is coming up to 99, (not in the Bristol area), received his postal vote a few days ago. Similar leaflet was received and he, as an outer, was suitably outraged and considered it illegal. So it seems as though this type of leaflet may be quite widespread.

  44. Looks like ORB correction to previous poll

    via Britain Elects
    EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 51% (-4)
    Leave: 46% (+4)
    (via ORB, phone)

  45. “A campaign memo from Britain Stronger In Europe leaked to the Guardian shows that only about half of Labour voters have realised their party is in favour of staying in the EU, with the rest thinking it is split or believing it is a party of Brexit.

    The analysis, sent to some Labour MPs, found that focus groups in London, Brighton and Ipswich over the past few weeks showed voters were “uniformly uncertain” about whether Labour was campaigning to stay in the EU. They did not know what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thought or believed he was for remain but “his heart isn’t in it”.

    In a sign that Labour’s arguments are not cutting through to the mainstream, it revealed that a group of undecided working-class women in Liverpool mostly assumed the party was for leaving the EU.”

    Guardian

  46. “You are also forgetting indirect taxes like VAT, insurance tax, airport tax, alcohol and tobacco taxes, and the tax on profits for the people they work for.”

    And you’re forgetting that if they pay that, then the people downstream who would have received the income instead of them are not paying it – because they have less income.

    Foreigners don’t help the government figures. In aggregate the government will get back about 90% of whatever it spends, with the other 10% ending up as an increase in private savings. And that happens for any positive tax rate.

    All you are doing is moving the distribution around so that some of it is paid by new people in the country. But that just means the spending goes up elsewhere, or other people pay less.

    The UK government has no need of funds. The funding comes from the circulation due to the government spending the money.

  47. “But what currency would they use?”

    The one issued by the Bank of England.

    (The clue’s in the name).

  48. Neil Wilson

    “(The clue’s in the name).”

    You would make a really crap detective! :-)

  49. CARFREW:
    “This makes no sense at all… We could vote our government out, but the immigration continues.”

    It would make sense if you stick to the subject. We’re talking about Turkey’s non-chance of joining the EU. If you want to talk about the fact that citizens of EXISTING EU countries have the right to move to the UK, then fine, there’s no dispute from me about that. But that’s a separate subject.

    “have you really shown it to be claptrap?”
    Completely, beyond any sane dispute. The Lisbon Treaty is there in black and white. I even pointed out the relevant article. Sorry, but it’s plain nonsense to think that the EU could impose that on us if we voted against it. I really don’t know how it could possibly be clearer.

    “rather more of the accession criteria have been met?”
    I think Alec was talking about criteria for visa-free travel, not accession. Again, that’s not in dispute. But visa-free travel to Schengen is not the same as to the UK, and a very, very long way off being able to live in and work in any EU country, including the UK.

  50. “Because we can kick the chappies* out, which we can’t with the EU.”

    Whom can’t we kick out? We vote for MEPs in the same way as we vote for MPs. Commissioners’ terms expire after five years (compare that to UK civil service who are not term-based but permanent). Commissioners can also be sacked (by MEPs). Council is made up heads of governments (so removing our representative would be removing Cameron from number 10).

    It seems to me it’s EASIER to remove EU folk than it is to remove Westminster folk. I won’t bore you with a rundown on Holyrood, the Sennedd and Stormont. I think you get the point.

    This is part of the worrying trend of ignorance about the EU. We can’t remove them (they are at least as removable as Westminster people). We can’t stop Turkey joining (we can). They stop us selling bananas in bunches of five (they don’t). It makes me sad that so many otherwise intelligent people repeat these things without bothering to check.

    I know it is at least in part deliberate misinformation that gets repeated. Take the vacuum cleaners. The people who’ve come up with that little nugget know damn well what it’s about. It’s about stopping manufacturers selling “high powered” cleaners that don’t actually have a better suction power. The extra energy used just generates extra noise and heat. You could make a 1000W vacuum into a 1200W one just by putting a heating coil in it. Most consumers won’t actually look at suction power ratings (even if they are published, which I’m not sure they are). They look at the power rating. 1000W just HAS to be better than 800W, right? Wrong. It might be worse, and just costs you more money to buy and to run. The legislation is there to stop manufacturers exploiting consumers who have a poor understanding of these things. Surely that’s a good thing? But no, it’s been portrayed by Boris as the EU won’t allow us to have vacuums with “good suction”. His choice of words there made his statement pretty close to deliberate and outright lie. And Boris is peerless when it comes to EU mythmaking. As a journalist he’s done it for years. If you want to find the source of any misinformation — lies — you could do worse than look to him.

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