Opinium have a new EU referendum poll in the Observer. The topline figures are REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 41%, Don’t know 14%… if you get the data from Opinium’s own site (the full tabs are here). If you read the reports of the poll on the Observer website however the topline figures have Leave three points ahead. What gives?

I’m not quite sure how the Observer ended up reporting the poll as it did, but the Opinium website is clear. Opinium have introduced a methodology change (incorporating some attitudinal weights) but have included what the figures would have been on their old methodology to allow people to see the change in the last fortnight. So their proper headline figures show a two point lead for Remain. However the methodology change improved Remain’s relative position by five points, so the poll actually reflects a significant move to leave since their poll a fortnight ago showing a four point lead for Remain. If the method had remained unchanged we’d be talking about a move from a four point remain lead to a three point leave lead; on top of the ICM and ORB polls last week that’s starting to look as if something may be afoot.

Looking in more detail at the methodology change, Opinium have added weights by people’s attitudes towards race and whether people identify as English, British or neither. These both correlate with how people will vote in the referendum and clearly do make a difference to the result. The difficulty comes with knowing what to weight them to – while there is reliable data from the British Electoral Study face to face poll, race in particular is an area where there is almost certain to be an interviewer effect (i.e. if there is a difference between answers in an online poll and a poll with an interviewer, you can’t be at all confident how much of the difference is sample and how much is interviewer efffect). That doesn’t mean you cannot or should not weight by it, most potential weights face obstacles of one sort or another, but it will be interesting to see how Opinium have dealt with the issue when they write more about it on Monday.

It also leaves us with an ever more varied picture in terms of polling. In the longer term this will be to the benefit of the industry – hopefully some polls of both modes will end up getting things about right, and other companies can learn from and adapt whatever works. Different companies will pioneer different innovations, the ones that fail will be abandoned and the ones that work copied. That said, in the shorter term it doesn’t really help us work out what the true picture is. That is, alas, the almost inevitable result of getting it wrong last year. The alternative (all the polls showing the same thing) would only be giving us false clarity, the picture would appear to be “clearer”… but that wouldn’t mean it wasn’t wrong.


274 Responses to “Understanding today’s Opinium poll”

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  1. Should be just now, predictive text again!

  2. So let’s consider this poster from the Brexit campaigners: “Turkey (population 76 million) is joining the EU.”

    As far as joining the EU goes, it is very difficult for would-be members to clear all the hurdles required. A country has to adopt and enforce all the current EU rules before it can be admitted to the bloc. EU rules are divided into 35 policy areas and in the 29 years since Turkey first applied to join the EU they have only managed to adopt the rules on one: science and research. In most other areas it has not even made a start. So the prospect of them joining in the next 29 years at least seem very remote.

    When Andrew Marr put this to Boris Johnson yesterday and said that therefore the poster was a lie, Boris’s defence was that our Government wanted Turkey to join and was therefore its policy to do all it could to facilitate Turkey joining as soon as possible.

    Now, of course, that is not any sort of answer to the question, but, it seems to me, it’s worse than that from the Brexit side. At the moment it is the EU itself that is preventing Turkey from joining. If we left however, as it is British Government policy to welcome Turkey, what would be in place to prevent the UK from doing a separate deal with Turkey to allow free movement of its citizens to this country? Absolutely nothing!

    It seems to me that if the Brexiters are fearful of a flood of Turkish citizens coming over, they should vote to remain in the EU!

  3. Norbold
    The poster is certainly on the tucked up safe & warm side of fear, because if the leave campaign wanted to, they only have to look to David Milibands 2007 speech about expansion.

    The Eurabia project is certainly spelled out in this speech:

    “Foreign Secretary David Miliband has suggested the European Union should work towards including Russia, Middle Eastern and North African countries. ”

    I’ve even heard suggested pre referendum that Syria and Libya should be offered the chance to join!

    The fear is not will happen if we leave, but what might happen if we remain !

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7095657.stm

  4. Just watching the EU debate on bbc 2 and it’s awful. It isn’t addressing the issues. They are discussing policy issue, which last time I looked remain or leave aren’t political parties, about to form a government. It also seems to be a Tory bashing debate, which isn’t the issue. What a farce, and no wonder we have so many undecided this late on.

    PS the UKIP spokeswoman as an Amateur, and having ukip amateurs in the debate; will only help Remain, the same way DC is helping Leave.

  5. I awoke this morning to hear people on the radio discussing what would happen if Brexit won. Completely contrary to what I but not John Murphy had believed, it may, it seems, be business as before. (Even worse, I had discounted the thoughts of an uneducated friend of mine who had said precisely that)

    Apparently Gove has said (and later retracted) the view that negotiations will drag on and that we will still be in the EU in 2020. At which point Boris Johnson may take a break from composing Pindaric odes to himself and run a unifying referendum on some slightly changed renegotiated treaty which will still allow immigration. I don’t know if this is likely but irrespective of that will the rumour of it takes off affect how people vote?

    I hope that Thoughtful’s thoughts on the inclusion of North Africa in the Union are similarly directed to rumours people may believe. I cannot believe that anyone with such a name does so themselves. The chance that even Turkey will join seems to me zero, and if it ever becomes realistic and Greece does not veto it and we are still in we can veto it. And if we are out, we can, I suppose, enjoy our virtuous position and look smugly at the North African hordes, camped on the shores of France and Belgium and vainly seeking to cross the channel in their flimsy boats.

  6. Wow,
    I have been away for a couple of days and the heat that is seen in the debate between Tories on either side of the debate seems to have translated to this site. I am used to reading comments that have a much more measured tone than some on this thread. I did not realise that the referendum would raise such visceral emotions.

    I have already sent my postal vote for Remain because I believe in a project which tries to remove the kind of economic self interest that leads to wars between nations. I am also convinced that in the short term (the next five to twenty years) there will be an unstable economic outlook which will mean times being hard for the very poorest amongst us. However I am of the view that even if there is a leave vote this will not, necessarily, lead to disaster in the long term; as Keynes said in the long term we are all dead.

  7. @Petra

    Is it fair to leave the blame at the door of the politicians/campaigners though?

    From the vox pops on the radio/telly to the audience on Question Time, to chatting with people in everyday life, the impression seems to be that the undecided keep complaining at the lack of information on which to base their decision. The information they refer to isn’t anything to do with the constitutional workings of either the UK or the EU, or even too much about current EU rules.

    People instead seem to clamour for information about the impact on future policy areas: immigration, the NHS, worker rights or what have you. While the more correct answer to a question on one of there might be to say: “Whatever the representatives at whatever level we choose (UK/EU) decide to implement”, can you really blame the campaigners if they try to answer the question in the way the questioners intend and join them in delving into party political futurology?

  8. THOMAS
    Don’t worry folks, even a Leave vote won’t keep us out of the single market as Parliament will vote us straight back in:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36457120

    The BBC article you link to seems well thought through and why would Labour and the SNP vote for a fresh UK GE unless they were pretty certain of winning? The LD insistence on the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act seems unusually prescient.

    And if the Con outers want to form an alliance with UKIP then the PR for which UKIP also campaign would also be a potential deal-breaker.

    Also, Cameron could do a Greenland for England and possibly Wales, whilst allowing Scotland and possibly NI to remain within the EU if both nations vote to remain,

    Interesting political times ahead, I suspect.

  9. @Thoughtful
    You’re really pushing the barriers there. A former Foreign Secretary who was rejected as a possible leader of his party 6 years ago and has since left the country, suggested 9 years ago that a version of the single market should one day be extended beyond the bounds of Europe to encourage other countries to adopt EU values.
    This becomes suggestions that Syria and Libya should join the EU

  10. Barbanzero
    “Also, Cameron could do a Greenland for England and possibly Wales, whilst allowing Scotland and possibly NI to remain within the EU if both nations vote to remain,”

    That’s an interesting one. I wonder if we’ll start to get weird and wonderful offers by Cameron etc if Leave is ahead with a few days to go? After all, they made a lot of last-minute promises in the Scottish referendum. I don’t know whether any were kept. No doubt one of Scottish friends can enlighten us.

  11. PETE B
    After all, they made a lot of last-minute promises in the Scottish referendum. I don’t know whether any were kept. No doubt one of Scottish friends can enlighten us.

    The rock bottom minimum Westminster think that they can get away with was more or less kept in fits and starts, with the “no detriment” rule finally being agreed just in time for this year’s Scottish Budget.

  12. “Is it fair to leave the blame at the door of the politicians/campaigners though?”

    Nope I blame the BBC for not controlling the debate. Putting 100 people with diametricaly opposed views, was always a recipe for disaster. One on one debates and interviews are much more informative.

    we will end up a 3rd world nation if we leave

  13. Watching BBC News in a bank queue with no sound. Looks like Cameron has quit Tories and joined a Lib Dem and Green Alliance Party. No sure whether Harriet Harman has joined as well. Is this a 1980 SDP moment ? I would have thought Cameron .would be trying to get Conservative voters to vote Remain. He must have a secret poll showing he is winning for Remain because he has spare time to appear with three people who seem to have zero appeal to Tory voters, none to old Labour in the Midlands, North and Wales and a Green leader who has been forced out because she had switched off Green voters to the Green brand and unlike Caroline Lucas can not actually get voters to vote for her in numbers in a constituency.

  14. @Laszlo

    Surely you’ve been in Britain long enough to know that hypocrisy is a core part of British culture.

  15. Sound just come on. Norman Stone BBC political editor: ;Focusing on immigration appears to be paying off for Leave. Polls and momentum moving their way’. Is this why Cameron has linked hands with the open door immigration policy of Natalie Bennett and HH ? Bold strategy. ‘I have given up on immigration. Let them all come’. Bold strategy. Let us see if polls back him up later in the week.
    Cameron did say when Bojo announced on the famous Sunday that he would now be linking arms with Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage. Bojo said he would not. It appears that Cameron is only not linking arms with Corbyn because Corbyn refused. I assume it would be disaster for both Brand Corbyn and Brand Cameron. It seems Cameron is having a leaders united (minus Farage) of course show of force (with non leader HH making up the numbers). Remain look like they are deluded this will help or just trying to lose or maybe have the thrill of the political version of Russian Roulette: flirting with disaster. All this brought about by one or two polls with a small move to Leave ? What happens if they get a poll with a big swing to leave ? Cameron and Ed Miliband and Kinnock and Russell Brand and Jordan ? My theory is regardless of the election that Owen Jones is a vote loser. His switch to Remain may explain the polls switch to Leave.

  16. EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 43% (-1)
    Leave: 48% (+1)
    (via ICM, online / 03 – 05 Jun)

    Cameron is losing the argument! Time for someone else to step up.
    The phone polls will show the opposite :D

  17. The latest polls looks interesting, there now seems to have been a definite move to “leave” . As I posted earlier the “remainers” have no answer to the immigration question. The leavers should continue to bang on that particular drum, it’s working.

  18. Good afternoon all from an incredibly hot and sunny Reigate

    THE OTHER HOWARD
    Allan Christie
    “Sorry to see that you had a inaccurate rant from Andy Shadrack. I can’t think of anyone less like “Little Englander” than you. As I’ve posted before, people usually turn to abuse when they are losing the argument. Sad”
    _____

    The saddest part of all is when he went on a racist rant against the English and probably offended 90% of the posters on UKPR yet he set out to chastise me for joking about another poster and his kilt. I think the EU referendum is bringing out the worse in many people.

    And the funny thing is..he said he left the UK 40 years ago!! He doesn’t have a vote so he can sling his hook and leave the EU referendum to us back in the UK.

  19. @Neilj

    “Do not understand the comments that a leave vote in Scotland will help Scottish independence and so SNP voters should vote out. The reverse would be the case.
    Scotlands’ best chance of having another referendum would be if the RUK vote leave and Scotland vote stay in.”

    ————–

    Well no, there’s a (slight) subtlety involved which allows people like Alun to try and mess with it.

    Obviously if majority of Scots vote to leave, and we leave, difficult then to argue that leaving is against Scots will.

    If following this line of thought, then the ideal might be for a majority of Scots to vote to remain, but only just, with more than otherwise expected voting leave, and which happens to be enough to tip the UK over to leaving.

    Then they would have assisted leaving, but still Scots just voting overall to remain, for SNP activists to claim some democratic issue.*

    The assumption of course in doing this would be that there won’t be so many doing the same thing that it might tip it into a majority of Scots voting to leave.

    * Another democratic issue is that Scots voted to remain in the Union, thus accepting Westminster, at least for issues not devolved Holyrood etc.

    But SNPers are arguing that if Westminster overall votes for something other than what Scots want, it’s a democratic issue and therefore cue indyref!!

    But as I say, Scots recently voted to accept Westminster for such things…

    It’s another cake and eat it thing. SNP are in denial of the indyref result. Like they were in denial of oil prices.

  20. PAUL H-J:

    You started well:
    “Businesses which trade with countries outside the EU
    Businesses which do not trade with the EU”
    I can see some argument for that

    But then:
    “Businesses which import from the EU”
    Buying from another EU country is not even classed as an import. There is a zero percent chance their lot will improve by leaving even ignoring the high chance of the pound devaluing. Businesses buying from other EU countries will face ruin if we leave.

    Back on to some sensible answers:
    “Fishermen” – perhaps.
    “Farmers” – depends on whether the UK government supports them as the EU does currently. Can’t be done if the membership fee is spent ten times over
    “Art and antique dealers” – I’ll take your word on that.
    “Low-skilled workers” some low skilled workers, ASSUMING low-skilled immigration is cut. But some low-skilled workers work in exports which might be damaged by increased non-tariff barriers. Or, god forbit, actual tariffs.

    “People who buy consumer goods” – no chance. Imports will be more expensive, EU safety standards are really important protections. I’d hope we maintain the same level of safety standards, but all this talk of cutting “red tape” leads me to fear some in the Tories want to do away with that kind of thing.
    People who buy food

    “UK taxpayers” Hmmm, this is a tricky one. Depends whom you mean. Will income tax rise or fall? Corporation tax? VAT? It’s certain that Brexit might create changes, but given that people in the Brexit camp are highly divided on the left-right axis, it depends who emerges strongest. I can’t say for sure whether I think taxes will go up or down, and I’m not sure you’re even making it clear which way you think it might go.

    “Democrats” – your most laughable comment yet. Taking power away from the propotionally elected EU parliament, and giving it to FPTP commons and appointed Peers is a democratic disaster. As we’ve been over many times.

    But it’s noble of you to express your opinion in more detail. I think there WILL be some winners in a Brexit situation (something I’ve said all along). My assessment is that there will be many more losers then winners, which is why I’m voting Remain.

  21. @ALUN009

    “Yes, spot on. So when you say “we” can vote them out, the chances are that “we” are probably often voting different ways.”

    ————-

    Quibbling over whether peeps vote different ways is off the point, the point being that the electorate have more ability to affect a change in government here than they do in the EU.

  22. PETRA GEORGEOPOLOUS
    EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 43% (-1)
    Leave: 48% (+1)
    (via ICM, online / 03 – 05 Jun)

    “Cameron is losing the argument! Time for someone else to step up”
    ______

    Who else can step up? He’s already wheeled everything out from the tooth fairy to Godzilla to speak out against Brexit. It’s a pity he didn’t give 5-8 year old’s the vote because I hear the Teletubbies are to make an announcement at number 10 later this week against Brexit.

    Onto the poll itself… Well I commented several times that the closer we get to the actual vote the tighter the polls will get. It now appears the polls are showing the real prospect of Brexit.

  23. @Alun

    “So if “we”, the electorate (yes, that prolly includes you too, unless you manage to secure some exclusive deal with the EU to stay) vote to leave the EU, and Scots then have another indyref and leave the UK, what are you SNPers advising peeps on what currency arrangement they’ll end up with?”

  24. @ToH

    It’s not just immigration where answers are lacking, there’s a bit of a vague on the democratic issue and TTIP too…

  25. Greetings from Cornwall………Interestingly an area that the EU has kindly allowed the money from the UK to come back to …….the Cornish as far as I can make out are still extremely Euro sceptic (though some of the local farmers will vote remain due to the certainty of their subsidies).

    Far greater population centres will decide this referendum but it is not a given that populations that do relatively well from the EU system will vote remain regardless of the advice from “opinion formers” or “leaders”

  26. CARFREW
    @Alun

    “Quibbling over whether peeps vote different ways is off the point, the point being that the electorate have more ability to affect a change in government here than they do in the EU”
    ______

    No political system is perfect as we all know but your point is absolutely correct.

    And just to add..The SNP can never form the UK government unless they stand candidates right across the UK and even though we got a Tory government which the SNP and majority of Scots oppose, the SNP still managed to force the UK gov into several u-turns and will probably have many more instances where they will change the course of Westminster over the next 4 years.

  27. @Alun

    You keep going on about appointed peers and proportional parliaments.

    Ignoring that the peers don’t have anything like the clout of the Commons and are more about revising stuff, and that despite proportionality the uk electorates voice is much diluted in the EUmin terms of ability to affect change.

    But ok, so if we had proportionality in the Commons and elected second chamber, would you then be in favour of the Union or this just another red herring of yours?

  28. In 1975 25,903,194 actually voted. This was 64.2% of registered voters. Theoretically 40,084,594 were registered to vote. Even then 0.2% were spoiled ballots or 54,540 votes.
    YES (aka REMAIN in 2016) 17,378,581 67.23%
    NO (aka LEAVE in 2016) 8,470,073 32.77%
    Polls suggest it will be much closer this time (unless there is a real volatile mood change).
    I know some credible posters (at least one) expects 65% plus turnout this time. However, turnout in 1974 General elections were 78.8% and 72.8% so then GE was seen as bigger deal than Ref. 2015 GE turnout was 66.1% http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm
    But I still think that the Europoll turnout in 2014 and 2011 AV turnout are the better guide to where we are now. Below 50% which on present polls gives Leave a landslide victory but nowhere near headline figures of 1975.
    Story on June 24 would be that Cameron, Obama, etc could not get 7 million votes. Cameron and cronies would have to go.
    Corbyn will kick himself (= kick his advisors) he did not go with Leave because he would then have politically castrated his pro-EU Mps and shown he was a votewinner with the public. As it is, it will also be his defeat. Ironic ?

  29. @Alun

    Yes, SNP do have some clout in Westminster. But according to SNP peeps, if Westminster overall votes for stuff Scots voted against, this is some democratic imposition. And it might be if Scots hadn’t voted to keep Westminster, FPTP and appointed Lords and so on.

    Someone needs to let the SNP koolaid drinkers know they lost the Indyref and that oil prices do matter etc…

  30. @ALLAN C

    Soz, the above post addressed to Alun about SNP clout etc. was meant as a reply to you!!

  31. I’m not sure that Cameron, and leave, are losing the argument. For what it’s worth they’ve managed to convince me that the UK will be measurably worse off economically if it leaves the EU.

    The problem is that they’re not tackling the main argument that’s swinging votes. Net migration.

    There’s not much they can do about that. Cameron explicitly failed to get the EU to budge on this. So we have the EU saying “we don’t want the UK without free movement of people” and the voters saying “we don’t want the EU unless they end free movement of people”.

    There’s no argument to win. There’s clear blue water between what the people want and what the EU will allow.

    Therefore, the only course is to persuade the British people (or more specifically the English and possibly Welsh people) to change their minds about immigration by convincing them that the economic consequences of the alternative as cataclysmic.

    Hence I don’t see project fear so much as a “mistake” as the only course available. Remain might have run a better project fear, but I don’t think they had any choice but to run one.

    As for last ditch “Promise” type tactics, it’s hard to think of any that would be legal in the EU.

    The only one I thought about was residency conditions on housing. There are lots of properties in Devon that can only be purchased or rented by people who have lived in the county for a specified length of time (usually 3 years). And there are some properties within the borders of Dartmoor that have restrictions to people with connections to parishes on the moor or contiguous with it.

    One can conceive of a new policy of perhaps increasing massively the use of covenants on new builds in the UK, to target them at existing local housing need and reduce the amount of migration not just from outside the UK but within it as well. It wouldn’t be illegal under EU law, because plenty of similar covenants already exist and have not been challenged.

    Such a proposal might have swung my vote, although of course it’s too late now.

  32. Over 12 million Leave to under 7 million remain.
    4 million UKIP, 4 million Conservative, 4 million 4 million Labour is my estimate of the 12 million. Some Irish, Welsh Nat and SNP.
    1 million Lib Dem, 1 million Green, 2 million Con, under 3 million Labour and SNP for Remain.

  33. CARFREW

    I can’t mind if it was on this thread or the last yin but I wrote that if Scots choose to leave the UK on the back them voting to remain within the EU and rUK voting for Brexit then that is up to them but I would personally like to see Scots vote for indy over something far more plausible.

    I simply can’t go along with what some are doing and that’s using the unelected other place as a proxy argument to keep the UK in the EU which brings us nicely onto your question to Alun.
    …….

    “But ok, so if we had proportionality in the Commons and elected second chamber, would you then be in favour of the Union or this just another red herring of yours?”
    ____

    Interesting question. :-)

  34. JONATHAN [email protected]
    ‘Over 12 million Leave to under 7 million remain.
    4 million UKIP, 4 million Conservative, 4 million 4 million Labour is my estimate of the 12 million. Some Irish, Welsh Nat and SNP.
    1 million Lib Dem, 1 million Green, 2 million Con, under 3 million Labour and SNP for Remain.’

    Interesting, which poll did you get those from

  35. @Alun

    Over at the Beeb, an article about how oil prices have affected the economy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-36456666

    “More than four in 10 of the UK’s oil and gas firms plan to cut costs further in response to the downturn in the industry, according to survey evidence.
    The Bank of Scotland/Lloyds Banking Group report took industry opinion between last December and February.

    It shows a third of businesses planned to cut jobs further during this year.
    Of the 141 companies surveyed, 51% made redundancies in the past year. For Scottish firms, that was true of 63%.

    In Scotland, 57% of companies surveyed within the industry and its supply chain said they had been severely or quite badly affected by the slump in oil prices, and 41% of firms across the UK.

    For every one job created last year, they said that six had been lost.”

    ———

    You may consider it “insane” whataboutery to consider oil prices once the indyref was lost, but to many of your fellow Scots oil prices continue to be very real…

  36. CARFREW:
    You actually made a half decent start at explaining the whole Scotland-in-England-out thing, but I just need to correct a couple things. Since you mentioned me and were implicitly representing my opinion, I want my actual opinion to be on record.

    “Then they would have assisted leaving, but still Scots just voting overall to remain, for SNP activists to claim some democratic issue.”

    If the UK votes out by 51-49 and Scotland votes remain by 51-49, there’s no issue at all in my opinion. That’s just natural variation. So whilst some people might find that a compelling reason for anther referendum, I would not. You’re insinuating that “SNP activists” are waiting on some hair trigger event that allows them to jump up and down and claim there must be a new independence referendum doesn’t really reflect reality. There are a small number of people who might fit into that characture, but not me, and not any of the people in know in the party. Well, maybe one person out of the hundred or so I know.

    “But SNPers are arguing that if Westminster overall votes for something other than what Scots want, it’s a democratic issue and therefore cue indyref!!”
    Not at all. In fact, I personally have been very clear that I can’t envisage another situation other than this particular referendum. There are plenty of things that Westminster votes for that Scottish MPs and Scottish people don’t want in my mind that is evidence that Scotland should be independent, but that was the sitation 2 years ago, and we had a referendum. My side lost, and it is, therefore, no longer sufficient to use that argument; that argument wasn’t strong enough.

    The issue at stake here is whether or not a Brexit would be a sufficient departure from the expectation of what a No vote meant. I know your opinion and you know mine, and we needn’t revisit that argument now. I just wanted to make sure that the mischaracterisation you allowed in your post doesn’t go unanswered. It’s not about any excuse for indyref2 either in an election to Westminster nor the everyday business of Westminster, nor is it about a marginal-Leave-England vs a marginal-Remain-Scotland. In my opinion, neither of those warrant a new referendum. Please try to keep that in mind next time you talk mention my name in relation to a possible indyref2, as I think you’ve strayed into ascribing views to me that I don’t hold.

  37. @ Neil A

    I didn’t think of racism at all. It was just the way of reflecting. But indeed it was a raw nerve.

    In one village in Bulgaria, 30% of the houses are owned by UK citizens. Which is fine by me (and probably good for the village too) – but you know, it is a kind of trade off: those Bulgarians may come to England and live here (and most of them work here).

    As to slave labour – there are real sweatshops in the country, the unions report it, and then nothing happens. And there is a shortage of unskilled labour (because it’s cheaper to higher a person to wash up than investing into a washing machine – ok exaggerated.).

  38. @Allan C

    There is also the idea that lack of clout in EU issue at to celebrate. It’s all very “Through the Looking Glass” at the minute, even more than usual.

    Partly because EU ref. resurrects Indyref issues!!

  39. Washing machine meant to be dish washer …

  40. (…that lack of clout in EU is summat to celebrate…)

  41. The Other Howard

    The “remainers” have no answer to the immigration question.

    That’s true, but what is not being pointed out is that the ‘Leavers’ don’t either. All they have offered is some nebulous hope that everything will be wonderful once the UK leaves the EU, but they haven’t explained how. At least with Scottish independence there was an attempt to map out what the SNP would then do. Whether it was convincing or not is another matter, but at least it was there.

    It’s no good about complaining over MPs threatening to do a trade deal with the EU[1], when the Leave side have made no effort to say what theirs would consist of. And given that the main model in such a situation is the Norwegian one – with even fewer restrictions on immigration that the UK currently has – the likelihood is that is what will happen. Except that it would be likely that terms would be even more disadvantageous.

    And that’s without considering the fact that the UK’s economic model for a long while has been based on the growth in low-paying, geographically flexible jobs – the very sort of thing that requires immigration and something the most prominent ‘Leavers’ have been advocates of (when he was Mayor of London, Boris was very pro-immigration). If you want to consider what is likely to happen, consider that, despite the Tory promises of ‘only’ 100K nett immigration, the latest figures:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreport/may2016

    show that nett annual non-EU immigration was 188K, so even if EU migration stopped completely[2] that target would be far exceeded. Anyone expecting that leaving the EU would ‘solve’ immigration or genuine problems associated with it, is being naive to put it politely.

    [1] There’s a typical piece today in the Guardian by Michael White in his usual tone of bumbling haughtiness, but it does include this point:

    […] of course parliament can defy the referendum result, because the British constitution clearly states that “the crown in parliament” – ie a majority of elected MPs, subject to whatever the Lords tries to moderate – is sovereign.

    Since Brexiteers claim to revere the ancient British constitution, and “sovereignty” is what it’s all about – not an excess of Polish plumbers or Bangladeshi restaurants – they can hardly complain about its correct and immaculate application.

    [2] Non-EU immigration has always been higher to the UK than EU and of course the UK has almost complete control over it.

  42. @Alun

    “You’re insinuating that “SNP activists” are waiting on some hair trigger event that allows them to jump up and down and claim there must be a new independence referendum doesn’t really reflect reality. There are a small number of people who might fit into that characture, but not me, and not any of the people in know in the party. Well, maybe one person out of the hundred or so I know.”

    ————–

    Oh don’t worry, we know they wouldn’t be on a hair trigger right this, not with oil prices in the toilet!!

  43. (Right this minute)

  44. CARFREW

    “It’s not just immigration where answers are lacking, there’s a bit of a vague on the democratic issue and TTIP too…”

    Of course that’s right but I think it’s immigration that has caused the apparent move in the polls.

  45. CARFREW:
    “the electorate have more ability to affect a change in government here than they do in the EU”
    If you define “the electorate” as being UK voters then yes. But for European elections, the electorate is not just the UK.

    “what are you SNPers advising peeps on what currency arrangement they’ll end up with?”
    I’m agnostic about that, as for me it’s not an important issue. Doubtless there would be a different approach this time, and I expect there would be some in favour of a Scottish Pound, and some who’d want to join the Euro. I’d be fine either way.

    “if Westminster overall votes for stuff Scots voted against, this is some democratic imposition.”
    I won’t pretend I understand what “democratic imposition” means, but as I’ve stated, this is not a mandate for an indyref2 in my opinion. We knew very clearly that England can and will outvote Scotland if we stayed, and we stayed anyway. That’s a decision with eyes wide open.

    In other news, I note your continued attempts to revisit oil prices as a live issue. Can I ask you what the UK government is doing to mitigate these job losses. It seems very odd to me that you think this is an issue to beat the idea of independence when these struggles are happening righ now in a Scotland that voted No. Doesn’t the misery of job losses happening right now somewhat work against the the argument that Westminster is a good steward of the economy?

  46. @Alun

    “Not at all. In fact, I personally have been very clear that I can’t envisage another situation other than this particular referendum.”

    ———–

    A very political answer, lol. Can’t envisage… while not ruling out summat could crop up at any moment.

    And anyway you’ve prolly given yourself a get outta jail free card. Nicola thinks polls shifting would do it for her. Would you disagree?

  47. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    And the funny thing is..[Andy Shadrack] said he left the UK 40 years ago!! He doesn’t have a vote so he can sling his hook and leave the EU referendum to us back in the UK.

    If you’d been paying attention you’d know that he registered himself when he was living in the UK last year (I think the minimum residency is only three months). Although now back in Canada, because he has kept his British citizenship he is now entitled to a vote in that constituency for another 15 years – or permanently if Conservatives go ahead with their plans to make this apply for expats.

  48. ROGER MEXICO

    I’m not actually arguing the case either way, what I am saying is it is the immigration issue which appears to be changing things in the polls and so far the “in campaign is not dealing with it effectively.

    I made up my mind many years ago and the current arguments either way are unlikely to change my mind. I’m just rather interested I the way the polls appear to be moving.

  49. @alun009

    Some peeps are not worth engaging with. They are simply contrarians, especially now that they have decided they are Little Englanders at least until a better source of argument comes along.

  50. PETRA GEORGEOPOLOUS

    EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 43% (-1)
    Leave: 48% (+1)
    (via ICM, online / 03 – 05 Jun)
    Cameron is losing the argument! Time for someone else to step up.
    The phone polls will show the opposite :D

    There actually isn’t a phone poll from ICM this week, just the regular online one. Click on “EU referendum tracker – 6th June 2016” here:

    https://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/

    for the commentary though they appear to have mucked up the pdf tables again.

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