Is Remain pulling ahead?
We noted yesterday's briefing that two of the most recent polls show a trend towards Remain. There is more. The following is from the FT. Forget the actual numbers. What seems to be happening is a widening in the lead of Remain by a larger number of polling organisations - ComRes being the latest one. Not a trend yet, but one to watch. And there is still a month to go in the campaign.
|Stay ||Leave ||Undecided ||Date ||Pollster ||Sample |
|52 ||41 ||7 ||May-19 ||ComRes ||1,000 |
|44 ||40 ||12 ||May-17 ||YouGov ||1,648 |
|48 ||35 ||14 ||May-16 ||Ipsos MORI ||1,002 |
|51 ||45 ||4 ||May-15 ||ORB ||800 |
|43 ||47 ||10 ||May-15 ||ICM ||2,048 |
|47 ||39 ||14 ||May-15 ||ICM ||1,002 |
|38 ||41 ||21 ||May-12 ||TNS ||1,222 |
Simon Tilford and John Springford present one of the most convincing pro-EU arguments we have yet heard. While a minority of eurosceptics in the UK are genuinely committed to openness, most of them are narrow-minded nationalists who oppose globalisation, immigration, and liberalism. This is a battle over the future ideological direction of the country - within the Tory party specifically. They also note a correlation between euro-sceptics and climate-sceptics.
"Right-wing populists do not just have the EU in their sights – they want to take over the Tory party and the country. The failure of Conservative moderates to face down these ideologues and their backers in the media mirrors what is happening in the US which has culminated in Donald Trump becoming the Republican candidate for the presidency. But whereas Trump has little chance of becoming president, the outlook in the UK is more worrisome."
László Bruszt and Nauro Campos express a sentiment we have heard surprisingly often, including from very senior establishment figures. While Brexit would be terrible, a decision to remain in the EU might be even worse. Their focus is on eastern Europe. A Remain victory would strengthen the likes of Viktor Orbán, who would want a similar deal to what Cameron got. The authors point out that the CEEs would be the biggest winners of real integration since they have not a lot of sovereignty to lose, given that most of their companies and banks are foreign-owned anyway. At least the EU is giving a stronger voice in the political. Brexit would at least pull the rest of the EU more together.