— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) May 16, 2014
Is opinion being influenced by the Scottish uncertainty?
One of the great things about Ipsos-MORI is that it has been carrying out political polling in the UK for longer than anyone and has extraordinary records. This means that it can put things into context.
Ahead of next Thursday’s Euro election it has put out a special report of a poll with the referendum findings the main headline.
We have seen from other pollsters in recent months the gap between STAY and LEAVE getting narrower and in March, for instance, YouGov found STAY was in the lead where it has remained.
But the margin is nothing like the 54% to 37% that Ipsos-MORI is now reporting.
How do we reconcile this with the rise of Ukip? The anti-EU party is surging ahead and some pollsters have it in the lead for the Euro elections yet here we have strong support for remaining in the EU.
My own pet theory is that opinion throughout the UK is being influenced by what’s happening in Scotland and the prospect of the break-up of the union. Voters don’t like change and are more comfortable with the status quo across the board.