Sunday, September 06, 2015

An unusual coincidence ...

A year ago this weekend the Sunday Times published a poll which had the "out" camp ahead in the Scottish independence referendum.

Yesterday details were revealed of a poll for today's Mail on Sunday which was the first to show the "out" campaign ahead in the EU membership referendum.

Opinion polls even when accurate - and we've recently had some pretty spectacular evidence that sometimes they are not - are a snapshot, not a forecast. In the sense that the poll a year ago was an indication it was a self-defeating one which jolted advocates of the Union out of their complacency.

I don't think either side in the EU referendum can afford any complacency either - but if the poll jolts people out of it that might be a good thing for Britain, whatever the result.

Anyone who was under the impression that Cameron could get away with a repeat of what Sir Harold Wilson did in the seventies, e.g. dressing up a few minor concessions as a major benefit, is entirely mistaken. I don't believe David Cameron was ever that stupid but if a few other people realise that the EU referendum could go either way, that is a thoroughly good thing.

Because it really could.

And that ought to concentrate the minds of both sides on thinking of what kind of country we Britain to be, and how membership or exit from the EU might help us to be that kind of country.

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