In June, 30 per cent of our Party member readers said in our monthly poll that they would vote to remain in the EU were the referendum to be held then – while 58 per cent said that they vote to leave.
In February, the respective figures were 33 per cent and 58 per cent. These two sets of findings are yet another tribute to the consistency of our survey.
However, these results reflect a binary choice: in other words, they don’t take into account the Government’s renegotiation, and it is obviously useful to try to poll for that too. A “Leave” voter might switch to “Remain” were the renegotiation to deliver an outcome he wants; or a “Remain” voter might move to the “Leave” column if the renegotiation does not deliver the outcome he wants. And so on.
But while it is desirable in principle to ask about the renegotiation, it is far from straightforward in practice. After all, we don’t know what the Government’s menu is – at least, not in full.
Furthermore, framing the question could involve presenting long lists of aims and policies to readers. This would be unlikely to produce clear and comprehensible results.
So we have gone for a question as follows: “On the basis of what you know about the Government’s EU renegotiation plan, and your assessment of likely reactions to it here and abroad, are you more likely to vote to remain in or to leave the EU in the coming referendum?”
We concede that this is far from the perfect renegotiation question – but such a perfect question, like a perfect anything, doesn’t exist. This one at least does doesn’t involve long lists.
Elsewhere, we have the usual monthly questions, including a last shot at the London Mayoral candidacy question before the open primary closes later this week. You can take the survey here.