Friday, 21 February 2014

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Democracy lives on through #ThingsElliottSays' weekly poll. 69% of you want there to be a referendum on the EU. 31% are either Lib Dems or members of the House of Lords, that fine democratic institution. But it's good to see that roughly you're on the money when it comes to public opinion. The Let Britain Decide Literature proudly boasts that 62% of people want a referendum on Europe according to YouGov. 70% was also the average amount of people who wanted a vote on the EU when the People's Pledge conducting a few polls in marginal constituencies up and down the country.

Should we Let Britain Decide over Europe?


Total votes: 65

It will come as no surprise to you that I would like to see a referendum on the EU. For far too long we have had no say on the matter and considering, either through deception or massive evolution, the EU is no longer the trading bloc we signed up to in the 1970s we deserve to say whether we should be in it or not. In a truly functioning democracy I think people deserve a say. That is why I think Labour and the Lib Dems are making a big mistake over this referendum.

The Lib Dems, although they are trying to chase the people who are solid Europhiles, are not actually defending their beliefs. Challenging Nigel Farage to a debate on LBC and saying the odd word about how we must stay in Europe is not going to win them many of these votes. What a Europhile voter would respond to the best, even if they don't per se want a referendum*, would be to engage with the Let Britain Decide campaign by backing a referendum in the House of Commons. A robust defence of the European Union could see us stay inside it. There is undoubtedly going to be an EU referendum now but the decision to leave is by no means decided and is a very big ask. Its not like this tactic hasn't been tried in some way with great success by the Lib Dems before.

Don't you wish the Lib Dems would keep to their promises.

Labour too have missed a good chance because they could have essentially nulled any polling gain the Conservatives could have from this referendum. As polling suggests time and again Europe is not the biggest problem as seen by the average voter. This is mostly because the EU is actually fairly distant in a lot of respects to everyday life, not that everyone over a copy of a newspaper doesn't have a breakfast table moan about the EU with an inevitable article everyday. But people still care and there is a small but not insignificant amount of voters who do have the European Union as a top priority especially when combined with immigration. If Labour wants a realistic majority, because their 35% strategic will not work depending on how well previous Lib Dem voters dig in, they need to try win back some of the people concerned with Europe and immigration that follows from it.

This man, who lined his pockets with millions from Brussels, may be a reason why Labour won't back a referendum.

I would be surprised if all the main parties do not have a referendum in their manifesto for these reasons; although stranger things have happened. Personally I am very likely to vote out, Dave will have to get a lot back if he wants my vote in 2017. When trade is shrinking inside the EU and the rest of the world is booming, what's the point of shackling ourselves to a cartel?

Vote in the New Poll.

* A fair proportion of those who want a vote have already decided they want to stay in Europe but want people to voice their opinions.

1 comment:

  1. This is certainly a very complex issue and anyone who claims they have a definitive answer either way is either lying, or hasn't looked into it enough. I do though have issue with the Conservatives making moral points about the people 'deserving' a vote. Irrespective of whether that is true, the Conservatives never offered a referendum in 1973 when Heath took us in. It was Labour in 1975 who did. In 1991, the judgement of Factortame 2 declared that European law was superior to national law and the former would supersede the latter is there was a conflict. Any referendum from Major? No. The Conservatives never offered a referendum in 1992 under Major when the Maastrict Treaty was signed. This created the European Union as we know it and massively increased its scope in terms of areas of competence. Any referendum pledges in the 2001, 2005 or 2010 manifestos? Nope. There was a pledge for a referendum lock (in the event of a new treaty that gave more powers to Brussels) but obviously there is no new treaty as of yet to trigger this. So, what of this moral pledge that the people 'deserve' a say? I say that this is a nonsense from the Tories. Cameron was panicking because of the rise of UKIP and rebellious backbenchers, bearing in mind he imposed a three-line whip to vote against David Nuttall MP's motion on an EU Referendum in Oct 2011. Tory leadership past and present have never held the view that the people 'deserve' a say out of moral right. This latest action was done for political reasons, not moral ones.