Monday, June 30, 2014

Cameron's Euro posturing proves to be double setback for the anti-independence campaign

We know that there are two key factors outwith the Yes campaign's control that could potentially help them win the independence referendum - one is the possibility of the Tories opening up a decisive lead in Britain-wide opinion polls, and the other is the possibility of the UK's exit from the EU starting to look imminent.  On the first point, the European elections initially seemed to have worked in the No campaign's favour - UKIP enjoyed a mini-surge of support in the polls that was largely at the Tories' expense, thus enabling Labour to artificially regain the narrow lead they had more or less squandered in the late spring.  And on the second point, there seemed to be enough pandering to Cameron from other European leaders that it was at least plausible to imagine that a cosmetic "reform" package might be cobbled together to keep Britain in the EU.

But the extraordinary Juncker episode seems to have turned the game on its head at a stroke.  Serious commentators in the London media are now talking of the likelihood of an exit from the EU in a way that would have seemed laughable only a few weeks ago.  And, bizarrely, Middle England seems to be lapping up Cameron's pointless display of impotence, isolation and irrelevance on the EU stage, and have rewarded the Tories with a clear lead in the latest GB-wide Ashcroft telephone poll.  Could this double whammy possibly have occurred at a worse moment for the No camp?

GB-wide voting intention for 2015 Westminster general election :

Conservatives 33% (+5)
Labour 31% (-2)
UKIP 15% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 9% (n/c)
Greens 6% (-1)
SNP/Plaid Cymru 3% (-1)

Don't be fooled by the combined share for the SNP and Plaid being down slightly, because the SNP have actually moved into the lead in the Scottish subsample...

SNP 36% (+9)
Labour 27% (-9)
Conservatives 21% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 6% (+4)
Greens 2% (-5)
UKIP 2% (-6)

However, very little can be read into that, because after the turnout filter was applied, there were only 34 respondents left in the Scottish subsample!


  1. It's quite possible that Cammie has blundered into another Flounce Bounce.

    What has to be factored in to Flounce 2.0 is that you can never, ever overstate just how stupendously gullible tory eurosceptics are. They desperately want to be fooled by Cammie and he is more than willing to keep doing so as long as he can keep getting away with it.

    Of course the fact that little Ed was handed on a plate the most open of goals imaginable, with the ball actually on the goal line waiting to be tapped in, and little Ed ran up to it and booted himself as hard as he could up his own arse, might, just might have something to do with it as well.

    Any halfway competent Labour leader would have completely destroyed the pathetic fop Cameron this week but little Ed sounds utterly unconvincing as usual.


    Incidently James, what you did with the last poll like this and facebook was extremely clever and might even bear repeating. Though of course there is plenty of time yet if this isn't just Ashcroft.

  2. Yes, I'd like to do that, but I've run into a bit of a problem with this blog's Facebook page - every post is coming up with an image saying "INVALID URL" or something like that. I've tried to correct the fault on Networked Blogs but nothing seems to work. Obviously if I ran an ad on a post like that it would look a bit amateurish, so if anyone knows of a solution, feel free to let me know!

    An alternative would be Twitter advertising, but ideally I'd much prefer Facebook because far more non-political people are reachable there.

  3. Sadly James I am no expert on the technical aspects of Facebook but hopefully some of your other regulars might be able to help.

    It is only a suggestion though and as I said we are hardly down to the wire yet.

  4. Will be interesting to see if there is a Tory shift based on Junckergate.

    Cameron's (non) 'veto' that everyone laughed at did the same.

    UKIPers and Eurosceptic Tories lap this sort of stuff up. England standing alone and all that. You know, like it did back in the war.

  5. with only 34 respondents how do you get 2% for ukip and green? just one vote will be 3% when rounded.

  6. Anon : It's the weighting that does that. In fact the subsample is even smaller after weighting - 32.