Referendum – 16 days to go
Today, 7th June 2016, is the last day to register to vote
Registration closes at 11.59 pm tonight
There is some news about pre-referendum voter registration. In the last month alone 1.6 million people registered to vote and 900,000 of those are under 35. On June 3rd, in one day alone, a whopping 192,000 people registered to vote, with 51,700 of these being under 25, and 21,400 of these being between the ages of 25 and 34. Yesterday, more than 200,000 registered. But there are many people who have not registered. Registration is particularly important if you are a student or a young person or if you have moved home. Don’t miss the deadline. Do it today online. It only takes 5 minutes.
To register you will need your National Insurance Number which you can find on payslips – tax returns – benefit letters – student loan papers – or your passport number if you are living abroad.
FT Poll Tracker: Remain 45% – Leave 43% = Don’t Know 12%
BBC Poll Tracker: Remain 43 – Leave 42 = Don’t Know 11%
UK Thinks: Remain 51 – Leave 49
William Hill Odds: Remain: 2/5 – Leave: 2/1 – Scotland Vote Leave: 10/1
The BBC poll tracker has been rather wobbly. It has dipped once in favour of Leave but is jut back in favour of Remain by just 1 point. It is already known that there is quite a divergence of about 15% between on-line and telephone polls. Until the reasons for that are understood on-line results have to be treated with some caution. Either way, the polling seems too close for either side to draw any comfort from the figures.
Tonight on ITV – Cameron -v- Farage – 9 pm
As explained in a previous post, the process of organising televised debates has been complicated by the fact that David Cameron has refused to engaged in so-called “blue on blue” debates. That is to say that the Prime Minister has been unwilling to appear on the same platform as rebel members of his government who are campaigning for the Vote Leave campaign.
Fortunately, UKIP is not in Government so the Cameron “blue or blue” restriction does not apply to the gentleman from Royston Vasey and accordingly ITV is broadcasting at 9 pm tonight a Cameron-Farage debate from the Olympic Park in East London. Mr Cameron and Mr Farage will each tackle questions from a studio audience of up to 200 people drawn from across the UK. Mr Farage will take questions first, followed by Mr Cameron and the debate will be moderated by ITV News presenter Julie Etchingham.
As readers may recall, the idea that Mr Cameron would agree to debate with Mr Farage but not with the poison dwarf Michael Gove or his clown Boris Johnson infuriated the Vote Leave campaign. See this report in the Guardian on 12th May 2015 – Vote Leave lambasts ITV over EU debate between Cameron and Farage – in which a Vote Leave “source” (not identified but one would like to know whom it was) got rather upset.
The anonymous “Senior Vote Leave source” (it really couldn’t have been cuddly Boris, could it?) also took aim at one of ITV’s most prominent journalists, adding: “ITV is led by people like Robert Peston who campaigned for Britain to join the euro. ITV has lied to us in private while secretly stitching up a deal with Cameron to stop Boris Johnson or Michael Gove debating the issues properly”. In an apparent threat of retribution down the line, the source added: “ITV has effectively joined the official in campaign and there will be consequences for its future – the people in No 10 won’t be there for long.”
It seems there were even Vote Leave threats of Court action against ITV which, however, have not materialised.
Given that Vote Leave are using many of the various arguments which Farage and UKIP have been pushing for years, why did they get so upset?
A very possible answer is that they are fearful of the public perception of UKIP and think they will not be able to make any arguments that Farage makes first on national TV. Indeed public perception of UKIP as “the nasty party” is bad for UKIP and bad for the Vote Leave campaign generally.
For those who seek office in the Conservative Party, the right background helps: the right sort of family, the right public school (preferably Eton), followed by a respectable college at the right university are considered to be distinct advantages.
People who have the right family background are “PLU” or “People like Us” and given office more easily while the non PLU have a much more difficult time. There are, of course, exceptions to the general rule. Sir John Major KG, CH, PC was certainly not PLU but he made it to the top despite the Spitting Image jibes. Nigel Farage is most definitely not PLU and might well be seen as an ‘Oik’ among PLU Tories. Unfortunately the Poison Dwarf is sometimes referred to as “Michael “Oiky” Gove” and poor Boris is rated a borderline Oik by many of the Tory Great and Good.
Either way it is Nigel Farage, the Royston Vasey UKIP leader, who tonight is going to argue on national television that the United Kingdom should vote to leave the European Union. That ought to be good news for the Vote Remain camp and good news for David Cameron too.