EU Referendum

EU referendum: a mountain to climb


000a YouGov-023 refpoll.jpg

The latest YouGov poll on EU referendum sentiment makes sombre reading. It is the third YouGov poll in a row with an "in" lead of 10 points. A 10-point lead is the largest the polling company has recorded since the question was first asked this way in September 2010.

This comes at the same time a ComRes survey for ITV electionis recording that Ukip is trailing in third across ten target seats, increasing the likelihood that the party will come away empty-handed at the general election.

These two items of news, taken together, could suggest that Euroscepticism is on the rocks, and there is every reason for believing that is the case. Despite intensive activity by a supposedly anti-EU party, and after decades of anti-EU rhetoric, there is no sign that the "out" case has gained any ground. Some of this must be attributable to Farage and his self-admitted inability to mount a coherent campaign, but there has to be more to the failure than just the inadequacies of Ukip.

Much must be put down to the way the arguments are distorted, and the reluctance of the anti-EU movement to get behind a coherent exit plan.

Should Mr Cameron's Conservatives succeed in forming a government, we then face a referendum with a mere two years and a huge mountain to climb. We have to believe that it is possible to change peoples' minds, but if the YouGov poll is accurate, it is not going to be easy.