Referendum Night (1)

Referendum Night

Polls closed at 10.00 pm

Yesterday’s  Polls

 Date  Leave %  Remain%  Don’t Know  Pollster  Method
22 June 49 51   YouGov Online*
22 June 42 48 11 ComRes online
22 June 45 45 10 YouGov online
22 June 45 44 11 Opinium online
22 June 43 41 16 TNS online

Yesterday’s polls suggested the result was going to be very close and might go either way.  One pollster asked people which outcome would cause then anxiety.  41% said Leave would but only 33% said Remain would.

*YouGov’s eve of poll survey for The Times has been  updated by a further survey which was carried out today and released after the polls have closed:

 Leave 48% – Remain 52%

Ipsos-Mori also has taken  a poll today :

 Leave: 46% – Remain 54%

Will the result of the Referendum reunite the Conservative Party?

Regrettably, I do not think so.

In April 2016 Philip Johnston, the assistant editor and leader writer of the Telegraph (aka “The Torygraph”) wrote this rather perceptive op-ed:  “The Conservative Party may be destroyed by this European madness”.    One observation is worth remembering:

Perhaps it had to be this way. The internal Tory tensions over Europe are, after all, the reason why we are having this referendum at all. Had Mr Cameron not feared…that more of his party’s supporters – and a quite a few of his MPs – would defect to Ukip then this campaign would not be happening. We would be enjoying the spring sunshine and looking forward to a summer of celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday, Shakespeare and European championship football, while continuing to moan about the EU”.

Adam Grice writes in the Independent:  “Win or lose, this is what will happen to the Tory party after the EU referendumand examines different possible outcomes:

How long would Cameron last if we vote for Brexit? Officially, Leavers like Boris and Gove want him to carry on. They are among 70 Tory MPs to sign a round-robin letter saying so, a project dubbed “Save Dave.” Privately, senior Tories say his position would be untenable; his MPs would not trust him to oversee the negotiations on Britain’s EU exit…..If there is a confidence vote after a decision to Remain, Cameron would almost certainly win it. But his troubles would not necessarily be over. His announcement that he will not lead the Tories into the 2020 general election would allow mutinous Tory MPs to press him to spell out his departure plans. Although he would try to resist, the pressure could grow. If he named his exit date, Cameron’s authority would drain – as Tony Blair’s did after Gordon Brown’s supporters forced him to set a leaving date after the 2005 election.”

Mr Grice concludes: “The referendum winners should take the spoils. But some ministers backing Remain fear a messy outcome: a narrow victory for staying in, followed by constant demands by the Leavers for another referendum….Despite all the sound and fury, claim and counter-claim, fear and loathing, this referendum might still not settle Britain’s future in Europe, or the power struggle inside a Conservative Party still riven by the issue.” 

However, at 22.20 it was announced on Sky News that a letter had been delivered to Downing Street from 84 Vote Leave MPs and that is now to be found on the Telegraph website: “Eurosceptic Tory MPs and ministers sign letter urging David Cameron to continue as Prime Minister”  and which says:-

More than 80 Eurosceptic Tory MPs – including every Cabinet minister who voted Leave – signed a letter addressed to Mr Cameron, urging him to remain as Prime Minister regardless of the referendum result.



It does not look as if any of the MP signatories have signed in pencil.  Time alone will tell if they mean what they say.

However, the article adds a little caution which smacks more than a little of Virgil’s maxim: “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes

However, scores of Conservative MPs are thought to have refused to sign the letter, which will intensify concerns in Downing Street that Mr Cameron’s most vocal opponents could still attempt to launch a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister in the weeks after the vote.”

Time alone will tell.


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