Will Labour tribalists vote against the yellows or the blues?

Will Labour tribalists vote against the yellows or the blues?

Could this determine the May 5 outcome?

The general theory of referenda is that by the time people get to voting the issue can become less about what’s on the ballot paper and more about whether they want to make a statement about the government.

That’s fine in conventional situations but what about current dilemma for Labour supporters – do they vote NO to punish “the traitor Clegg” or do they vote YES to try to damage the Tories?

Given that what Labour supporters do is central to the outcome how party voters react will be crucial.

In recent weeks the Labour machine has switched its focus from Nick Clegg to the blues now always talking about the “Conservative-led government” and not the coalition.

The YES campaign has made a deliberate decision to make Clegg the invisible man during the next eleven weeks – although NO will make every effort to highlight the yellow tribal chief.

I wonder whether a lot depends on how prominent senior Tories are for NO. If that becomes too associated with the blue team then it could cause more reds to go YES. But given how important Tory voters are to NO then having their leaders, including Cameron, playing a leading role could help in getting their vote out.

I find it hard to call this referendum and currently make it a 52-48 shot to YES.

Mike Smithson

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