Front page of the Sunday Times No 10 plots early Europe vote in 2016 pic.twitter.com/xSdmv9Z6cz
— The Screaming Eagles (@TSEofPB) February 7, 2015
If the Tories are to remain in power after May 7th, they need to win back the near in one in five voters they’ve lost to UKIP since 2010.
The Sunday Times are reporting (Â£Â£)
If the Tories keep the keys to Downing Street, one scenario being considered would see negotiations with EU governments continue this summer to get a new deal for Britain in Brussels.
The prime minister would outline his final demands at the Conservative party conference in October and announce a referendum date, either in the spring or autumn next year, setting the clock ticking on final talks with the other 27 EU countries.
One minister told The Sunday Times that Cameron would â€œlike to go earlyâ€ and a second said a 2016 referendum is â€œthe preferred routeâ€.
Whilst cynics would say this is an attempt to win back those voters who have switched to UKIP, the Tory logic is thus, a referendum held in 2017 will be complicated by the fact France and Germany are holding general elections in 2017, which may not make amenable in to giving the UK concessions. By holding in 2016 it will also reduce the economic uncertainty.
Given Cameron’s past contretemps over the Lisbon referendum, holding the referendum in 2016 might not help in winning back those switchers, especially as Nigel Farage has said in the past a “July 2015 referendum is my price for propping up Tories”
At the time of writing, you could get odds of 6/4 that there would be a referendum by 2019.