Now that a deal is on the table, it seemed timely, in this special survey, to probe deeper. So we asked: “Now that this week’s EU summit has concluded, how do you intend to vote in the EU referendum?” – and sought to distinguish between those who say that they have made up their mind and those who say that they have not.
In those previous surveys, Leave has been running at 65 per cent or over among Party member respondents, and Remain at 25 per cent or thereabouts.
This special survey found, in the wake of last week’s EU summit, that 60 per cent of Party member repliers say that they are definitely for Leave, with another 13 per cent leaning that way. 16 per cent say that they are definitely for Remain, with another 8 per cent leaning that way.
The most simple calculation, then, is to add the 60 and 13 per cents together to get 73 per cent, and the 16 and 8 per cents together to get 24 per cent. About three in four Party members would then be down to back Leave and one in four to back Remain.
But to make such a calculation four months out from polling day would be extremely rash. Another way of looking at the figures would be to try to calculate what the maximum Remain vote might be.
If Remain could win over all those leaning to Leave on these figures, it could get up to 37 per cent – approaching two in five Party members. I don’t think that this will happen, and the survey obviously contains no good news for David Cameron. But with so much debate and discussion to come I think there is some comfort for Remain in these findings.
Which raises the question of whether the survey results are representative. In the absence of a large opinion poll study – and these are sometimes poor predictors, as the General Election proves – it is impossible to know. You will talk to Association friends and have your own view.
Mine is that what I hear most is about 60 per cent for Leave, 20 per cent for Remain and 20 per cent undecided. Remain supporters are perhaps more likely, given the larger size of the Leave contingent, to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. At any rate, our survey finding is roughly in this ball park.
For website respondents as a whole, 67 per cent are for Leave and 11 per cent lean that way, while 13 per cent are for Remain and 6 per cent lean that way.