Archive for the ‘YouGov: Lab Maj 30% Con Maj 29%’ Category

YouGov Poll Preferences: Labour Majority 30% Conservative Majority 29%

vendredi, mars 1st, 2013

Despite Labour currently holding a leading 40% or more share of popular opinion in the polls, why is it that just 30% of those most recently sampled by YouGov in their preferred election outcome tracker, would prefer a Labour majority, only 1% ahead of the Conservatives at 29%?
Is this just a further example of a similar problem with an EU referendum, that the outcome can be heavily influenced by the actual question posed and intervening events? The current experience with coalition government results in majorities for Labour-Liberal Democrat or Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalitions, being less than half as popular with the public.

FT: Voters Normally Say Yes to Europe!

lundi, février 18th, 2013

Here’s an interesting historical list of 37 EU referenda taken from the Financial Times Westminster Blog, with the headline that Voters normally say yes to Europe, as Britain trundles towards a possible referendum on EU membership.

1. France 1972 (Enlargement) 68.3% YES
2. Ireland 1972 ? EEC Membership 83.1% YES
3. Norway 1972 EEC Membership 53% NO
4. United Kingdom 1975 (Renegotiation) 67% YES
5. Denmark 1986 (Single Act) 56% YES
6. Ireland 1987 (Single Act) 69% YES
7. Ireland 1992 (Maastricht) 69% YES
8. Denmark 1992 (Maastricht) 51% NO
9. France 1992 (Single Act) 51% YES
10. Denmark 1993 (Maastricht) 56% YES
11. Austria 1994 (Membership) 66% YES
12. Finland 1994 (Membership) 59% YES
13. Sweden 1994 Membership): 53% YES
14. Norway 1994 (Membership) 52% NO
15. Ireland 1998 (Amsterdam Treaty) 56% YES
16. Denmark 1998 (Amsterdam Treaty) 55% YES
17. Denmark 2000 (Euro) 56% NO
18. Ireland 2001 (Nice Treaty) 53% NO
19. Ireland 2002 (Nice Treaty) 62% YES
20. Sweden 2003 (Euro) 53% NO
21. Slovakia 2003 94 % YES
22. Malta 2004 (Membership) 53% YES
23. Slovenia 2004 (Membership) 89% YES
24. Hungary 2004 (Membership) 84% YES
25. Lithuania 2004 (Membership) 89% YES
26. Poland 2004 (Membership) 77%YES
27. Czech Republic 2004 (Membership) 77% YES
28. Estonia 2004 (Membership) 64% YES
29. Latvia 2004 (Membership) 67% YES
30. Spain 2005 (European Constitution) 7% YES
31. France 2005 (European Constitution) 54% NO
32. Netherlands 2005 (European Constitution) 61% NO
33. Luxembourg 2005 (European Constitution) 56% YES
34. Ireland 2009 (Lisbon Treaty) 53% NO
35. Ireland (Revised Lisbon treaty) 67% YES
36. Ireland 2012 (EU Fiscal Compact) 60% YES
37. Croatia 2012 (Membership) 67% YES

According to the FT, this past experience would suggest that PM David Cameron could get away with his gamble that the British public would vote to remain in the EU if he can renegotiate some powers away from Brussels and back to the UK.
Is this sufficient evidence of his good judgment or is he taking too much of a gamble eg because UKIP and/or elements within his own party have left him with no choice?

EU Referendum: A Lesson from History.

samedi, janvier 19th, 2013

The article reviewing two books on Britain and Europe in The Economist January 19th 2013, p. 74, Forty years on, provides a lesson from history for Eurosceptics as well as Prime Minister David Cameron, as he wrestles with the issue of a referendum on continuing British membership of the European Union (EU).
Eurosceptics should be aware that forty years ago Britain joined what was then the European Economic Community (EEC), because the other options of a free-trade area, the Commonwealth, links to the US or going it alone, were all judged even less attractive. Gaining global influence through EEC membership was also considered to outweigh the rather weak even negative economic case for entry.
In the successful 1975 EU referendum voters were two-to-one in favour of continued membership, public opinion having rapidly swung towards a yes vote following renegotiation of the terms of membership by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The parallel case today for Mr Cameron and his team cannot be considered within the same historical context. In the 1970s there was more European goodwill towards Britain partly as a result of the rather undiplomatic actions of French President Charles de Gaulle in twice vetoing British membership applications. The terms of entry were also generally recognised as being too heavily weighted against the British on budget, agriculture, fisheries etc. Significantly at the time, most of the press and politicians campaigned for a yes vote.
The review article concludes by suggesting that Mr Cameron would be well-advised to read both books and to ponder their lessons:
? Britain?s Quest for a Role: A Diplomatic Memoir from Europe to the UN. By David Hannay. I.B. Tauris.
? The Official History of Britain and the European Community, 1963-1975. By Stephan Wall. Routledge.
Is EU membership crucial to Britain?s (perhaps continuing) search for a post-imperial role, as seen by Lord Hannay in his above book? A long-serving British diplomat he argues from first-hand experience that British influence in Washington DC, and in the wider world, now flows through Brussels, and it would be weakened if the country ended up outside the EU. This view is echoed by the Americans who have recently made it clear that they would prefer an outwards-looking Britain within the EU, rather than an inwards-looking Britain outside the EU.