Brexitwatch May 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Polling data seems to show a more substantial shift towards REMAIN across the last week. UK Polling Report has a number of polls that indicate that dynamic, although the most recent online ICM poll has the two camps level-pegging. But as always it is not the short-term that is of most interest – though whether there is a REMAIN or an EXIT is not unimportant, to put it mildly. Rather it is what happens in the aftermath of a vote. Look at the possible percentages. The Daily Mail/ComRes on a telephone poll had REMAIN 52%, LEAVE 41%. This was weighted for likelihood to vote. That’s a lot of people still on the LEAVE side and how does that play out, in orders of ascending interest in relation to the Tories, surely weakened by the divisions so evident in their ranks, in relation to other political forces in the UK and its constituent elements and in relation to the British electorate? Is this a case of the question being settled for, well what, a generation? Five years, twenty? Fifty?
There’s still time to go. Andrew Rawnsley was muttering darkly in the Observer at the weekend about REMAIN complacency at a positive vote for their side. I find that baffling. If anything my sense of it from outside the UK is that the REMAIN camp is very very cautious and very very uncertain about what the result will be. I’m uncertain. I think it should be REMAIN, but I wouldn’t put money on it – though truth is I’m famously cautious about these things (which reminds me about Tony Gregory who had an almost superstitious fear of being too positive going into an election – and that at a time of much lesser volatility than today. Moreover he was right, very few contests are as sure as that, say, for the Irish Labour Party leadership this last time around – at least once the process commenced).
Still, if it is REMAIN it will be proof positive, rather like the referendum on Scottish independence that economic interest and self-interest is a key factor in all these contests. What’s a little puzzling is how the EXIT crew haven’t seemed all that aware of that, but perhaps it is difficult to map out an alternative to a deeply embedded status quo. There’s a lesson in that much further afield – for leftists and indeed Republicans on this island.