Last night saw another potentially significant development in polling for the EU referendum, as the second poll to be conducted since the Brussels atrocity suggested both an outright Leave lead and a swing to Leave. As far as I can see, it's also the first time a poll from BMG has put Remain behind.
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
Remain 41% (-3)
Leave 45% (+4)
It's always interesting when a firm produces results outside its previous normal range (as long as there hasn't been any big methodological changes). In this case, it may not necessarily mean that Leave have made further recent progress, but it certainly increases the chances that the first post-Brussels poll from ICM was leading us astray in suggesting a significant swing to Remain. It could be that the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes, and that nothing much has changed at all.
Meanwhile, the Guardian have picked up on an analysis by Matt Singh (one of the few people to confidently predict that Conservative support was being significantly understated last year) suggesting that Remain-friendly telephone polls are closer to the truth than Leave-friendly online polls, and that the real state of play is roughly two-thirds of the way towards the telephone side of the divide. That may or may not be the case, but even if it is, I'm not sure it's quite as important as it sounds, or even as important as it would have been just a few weeks ago. There's been a fair bit of convergence between telephone and online polls recently, so moving the dial from midway to two-thirds currently makes less than a 1% difference to the Remain lead.
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I got into a tetchy Twitter exchange the other night with "Johann Lamont", who I automatically assumed to be a parody or troll account. It wasn't until quite an advanced stage that it occurred to me to check, and bizarrely, it turned out to be the Johann Lamont who used to be leader of the Scottish Labour party. You'll be pleased to hear I didn't waste a golden opportunity to get in the standard "genetically programmed" jibe, even though I've always been a little more charitable than most about that gaffe - it seemed to me fairly obvious what she was trying (and spectacularly failing) to say. Kezia Dugdale got herself into a comparable pickle last night during the STV leaders' debate - she was so fixated on emphasising her opposition to a second independence referendum that she somehow found herself giving one of the stupidest and most offensive answers to a straight question in Scottish political history. Asked simply whether she would respect an electoral mandate for a second referendum if the voters chose to give one, she flatly replied "No". Only time will tell whether that response will have an afterlife of "genetic" proportions, but it certainly deserves to.
Taking Dugdale's militant approach last night in combination with Labour's utterly bizarre new campaign video (which presents euphoric highlights of Labour people celebrating with the Tories after the No vote), it's very hard to escape the impression that the party's private polling must be suggesting that the Yes voters they've alienated are not coming back any time soon, and that the only real battleground this year is the rump No-voting Labour support who might now be flirting with other unionist parties.