Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stephen Bush teases David Cameron by welcoming him to the left

Stephen Bush has an amusing article in the New Statesman which points out that in the EU referendum David Cameron faces very similar problems to those usually faced by left wing campaigners:

The facts are on his side, the press isn't. Welcome to the left, David Cameron.

There will of course be those who consider that by backing "Remain" DC is taking a left wing position. Although I have not quite decided how to vote myself, I am not one of them.

The EU referendum is proving very hard to call - and would be even harder were not most of the prominent figures supporting Leave acting as if they were doing their best to blow it.

(Not that Remain have not often been their own worst enemies, as well.)

The British are a naturally small-c Conservative people, and referendum results usually produce a result for the status quo. I don't think the attempt by leave to argue that there is no status quo has really cut through, though there are certainly some voters who buy into that view.

The referendum will probably come down to turnout, with Leave having their best chance if it is low. Their voters tend to be more enthusiastic, and older, and thus, it is often predicted more likely to vote.

But it's not that simple. Propensity to vote remain is also strongly correlated to education and income - and both the higher educated and the more comfortably off, who are overwhelmingly pro-remain, are also far more likely to vote than those who are neither.

I think Leave will have an edge in a low turnout, but not as much as some people suggest.

The phone polls, which give Remain a stronger lead - and apparently a stable one - compared with the internet polls did much better than the latter in predicting the general election last year.

Basically I think the referendum is still looking like a narrow win for Remain but it could yet go either way.

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