If Leave wants to win they need to show that Brexit is the better option for the economy and the financial wellbeing of voters.
We’ve been here before. We see the headline voting intention figures showing it neck and neck, yet the supplementaries on the economy show one side extending their clear lead further. Looking at the above supplementary questions from this week’s YouGov poll that showed Leave ahead by 1%, this referendum campaign, with the supplementaries showing more and more voters saying Brexit would be bad for the economy, jobs, and their personal financial situation, with Remain being the best option, is all very reminiscent of the polling we saw at the 2015 general election, the Tories and Labour tied but the Tories significantly ahead on the economy.
The YouGov supplementaries aren’t atypical.
- Last night’s Opinium poll showed ‘38% of voters believe the UK economy would fare better inside the EU, against 29% who think it would do better if the UK voted to leave.’
- A recent ORB poll found 48% of voters saying remaining in the EU would create a stronger economy, whilst 34% said leaving the EU would create a stronger economy.
David Cameron and George Osborne have their detractors, but it appears that with their recent Treasury analysis, and President Obama’s intervention, more and more voters see Brexit as damaging to the UK economy, jobs, and to voters personally. Focusing on the risks of Brexit is a clever strategy as the polls show the economy will be the most important issue in how voters decide which way they will vote in this referendum.
A few weeks ago ComRes found the most important issue in how voters would vote in the the referendum was the economy at 47% followed by immigration at 24%. Ipsos Mori had a similar finding. As with the Scottish Independence referendum, I expect a majority of voters won’t choose to make themselves worse off, saying to voters that they can be only £25 per year better/worse off is enough to change the minds of some of the voters in this referendum.
Unless Brexiters manage to improve the economic polling figures, I fully expect Remain to win. The voters won’t vote for anything that will make the country and themselves worse off. With prominent Leaver Arron Banks very publicly claiming earlier on this week each household losing £4,300 a year would be a price worth paying for Brexit and the Economists for Brexit saying Brexit would mostly eliminate manufacturing, Cameron & Osborne must privately be echoing the mantra of Colonel John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’
Once the local council, London Mayoral, and devolved elections are out of the way, the referendum campaign proper starts a week on Monday, that might be enough time for Leave to turn the economic perceptions of Brexit in their favour by June 23rd.