Now that the short campaign has commenced for the referendum, it’s worth taking another look at how Conservative Party members who read ConservativeHome say they intend to vote. This month’s survey had 944 party member respondents.
The headline figures are:
- a total of 70.6 per cent are either definitely voting Leave (61 per cent) or leaning to Leave (9.6 per cent)
- a total of 27.5 per cent are either definitely opting for Remain (22.5 per cent) or leaning in that direction (5 per cent).
To put those numbers in context, when we first asked this question in February – shortly after the renegotiation deal emerged – the numbers were:
- a total of 73.4 per cent were either definitely voting Leave (60 per cent) or leaning to Leave (13.4 per cent)
- a total of 24.3 per cent were either definitely opting for Remain (16.1 per cent) or leaning in that direction (8.2 per cent).
So over the last three months, there has been a small shift towards Remain among Conservative Party members of around three percentage points, although Leave still retains a commanding lead of almost three to one. Within the broken down numbers, it seems that while Remain has converted some of its leaners into definites, Leave has instead lost some of its leaners to the other side, though its core vote has stayed pretty solid.
There’s one final point of interest in the result. The vast majority of the swing to Remain seems to have taken place since the start of April, presumably as an effect of the Government’s onslaught of official reports and international figures. Now that purdah is in force, can Leave use the final three-and-a-bit weeks to tip the scales back?