WR23 Options for Brexiteers – build on limited gains

Opinion poll gains at the Spring equinox

Peter Kellner commented (26th March) on the National Centre for Social Research data showing for those voters who expressed a view, 46% were now Leave, 54% Remain. Kellner noted for a three option choice – no deal, may deal or remain, the Remain lead was greater.

Kellner noted poll expert John Curtiss acknowledging the shift in opinion and that “polls over the last six months have shown that supporters of a people’s vote have outnumbered opponents of the people getting the final say”.

The shift is noteworthy but less favourable to Remain than appears, partly because parliament does not favour a 3rd referendum, while the lead is too slim to show a victory for Remain. The poll data does not cover all voters, and the Leave tendency is both older than Remain and more likely to vote. The outcome is dependant on turn out and other factors favouring Leave – we still do not understand 2016- Remain lost in 2016 for largely unexamined reasons – but these certainly include a failure to understand the underlying strength of Leave – and Millbank in particular remains arrogant and overconfident.

Leave’s underlying strength – Remain’s Limits

The predictions of 2017 that Remain would need – and could get – a 60-40 split to gain and win another Referendum have not been fulfilled while the 66-33 split of the successful first referendum of 1975 is currently forgotten and unattainable. It is suprising Leave is not in favour of a 3rd Referendum as it has proven campaign ability, and the Remain lead is too slim not to be vulnerable to a strong Brexit campaign – in the Stoke by election UKIP easily matched the Labour canvassing effort.

The demos and epetitions have mobilised Remain supporters, but the million strong March 23rd demo while the biggest since the Iraq war demo also pointed the futility of demos as a method. Iraq mobilisation did NOT stop British involvement in the US attack . Many methods used by Remain pre date the first world war and the use of the internet is limited. The attempt by all Remain groups to exhort supporters by email to write to their MP is neither flexible nor evaluated.

It has not worked if the state of parliament is assessed. Andrew Adonis told a European Movement meeting in Birmingham on 2nd February that c160 MPs backed a third vote, half the number needed, and the People’s Vote has to wait till the last moment hoping that all other options will leave MPs no choice but to back it. However this is a weak strategy as officially the PV is only aimed at a vote on the PM deal- not to reject Brexit. There has been no atempt to push for a rejection of Brexit, In large part because
(a) PV does not officially challenge the 2016 outcome (b) it has not contested the democratic agenda and the 17.4 million voters cited by the daily Express – Leave had a majority then – but does it now? (c) Official Remain has been re-running the 2016 campaign in very many respects.

Remain fails to understand the messianic qualityof Leave & appears determined to ignore the data of Hope not Hate which shows how deep the commitment of Leavers is to their cause. Alas the Leave messiah complex is matched by Remain messiahs who have no doubt at all that Remain would win a third referendum. A victory can be won – but not by exhortation. Be careful what you wish for!

Trevor Fisher