Referendum – 13 days to go
FT Poll Tracker: Remain 45% – Leave 43% = Don’t Know 12%
BBC Poll Tracker: Remain 43 – Leave 42 = Don’t Know 15%
William Hill Odds: Remain: 1/4 – Leave: 3/1 – Scotland Vote Leave: 10/1
The polls are too close to give any reliable indication of the outcome – the betting odds might be more enlightening. The Financial Times has a very good article on the difficulty of interpreting the polls -and in particular the difference between on-line and telephone polls: How accurate are the Brexit polls? (£).
The government has tabled a draft statutory instrument to extend voter registration to midnight tonight, 9th June 2016 – so those who saw the registration website crash can still register provided it is before midnight this evening. You will need your National Insurance Number.
However, this may not be the end of the matter: The FT reports that Aaron Banks (the multimillionaire who has funded UKIP and Leave.eu) is threatening a legal challenge to the extension: Leave.EU looks at legal challenge to referendum(£). Banks has previously threatened proceedings about the choice of Vote Leave as the primary organisation for Brexiteers. Nothing came of that and it must be very doubtful that anything will come of this.
What is probably the real concern of the Brexiteers is that the last minute applicants are likely to be young people who will more probably vote to Remain in the EU.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP
Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes and the Chairwoman of the Health Committee in the House of Commons announced today that she is leaving the Vote Leave Campaign and will vote to Remain in the EU. See this BBC News Report.
Dr Wollaston has a blog, Dr Sarah’s Blog, and it makes interesting reading, not only for the process by which Dr Wollaston has made her decision, but also for the comments on the blog, in particular the abuse from those supporting Brexit. This lady has undoubtedly been very courageous.
Lord Hague, David Cameron’s predecessor, a well regarded Foreign Secretary and a well-liked senior Tory has urged voters not to base their vote on immigration issues: BBC Report. He is to speak tonight and will argue that EU membership confers clear economic and diplomatic benefits on the UK:-
“I’ve spent my political life standing up to it but for all its imperfections, it protects jobs and boosts our standing and power in the world. Let me tell you straight, as someone who’s an outright Eurosceptic, leaving the European Union would be downright irresponsible. The idea that we can leave the EU without any serious economic consequences for jobs and businesses in Britain, and somehow have more money to spend on the NHS and other services at the same time, is a total fantasy, and people need to know that before they vote.”
Sounds right. Funnily enough, the Conservative Home blog (which is where Tory Brexit supporters seen to lurk) has today posted the results of one of their polls: Almost two-thirds of Tory members say in our survey that Britain will vote to Remain. Let’s hope they are right.