@LordAshcroft There's no benefit to LAB in helping close down the issue of Europe which has been so divisive for the Tories. No referendum.
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 16, 2014
@MSmithsonPB ..wouldn't bet on that…
— Lord Ashcroft (@LordAshcroft) January 16, 2014
Last night I got into a little Twitter discussion with Lord Ashcroft over Labour and an EU referendum. He was articulating what is a widespread Tory view that EdM will be forced ahead of the election to make a commitment. It will become a politically difficult, they believe, for him to avoid.
I’m not convinced for three reasons.
Firstly, as the polling shows Europe is less of an issue for LAB voters than any other segment. Indeed on the issues facing “you and your fmily” just 3% of LAB voters name it.
Secondly Those close to Miliband have been reported saying that he would not want his first term as PM to be so dominated by such a referendum.
Thirdly, why should Labour do anything to close down an issue that has been so corrosive to Tory fortunes over more than two decades? Far better to keep it alive so the blues remain split.