Last time there was a UK wide referendum the focus was on a large amount of money & it being better spent on the NHS pic.twitter.com/Dp8EoWhhJv
— TSE (@TSEofPB) June 17, 2016
A lot of people, myself included, have often drawn comparisons between the EU referendum and the Scottish independence referendum, but perhaps the better comparison is with the AV referendum of 2011.
The similarities are uncanny
- David Cameron is perceived to have betrayed his political allies by taking a high profile role in the campaign against them, which speaks of the naiveté of his opponents. What were they expecting to him to do. did they expect him to wilfully lose the referendum? If Tory Leavers were expecting David Cameron to sit the EU referendum out, they might be better off looking for a nun in a whorehouse.
- The focus of referendum has been portrayed as an opportunity to kick an unpopular politician rather than look at the merits of the argument. Had the AV referendum focused purely on the merits of AV, then I’m sure the undoubted merits of AV would have ensured a triumph for Yes2AV.
- We’ve had contested claims about the cost of AV/membership of the EU which have dominated the agenda and how that money might be better spent in the NHS (see the tweet above.)
- The Yes2AV/Remain have handled the cost angle badly, to the point many voters believe the contested figures, even when many people making the claims admit their figures are dubious.
- Matthew Elliot was the Campaign Director for the No2AV side, this time he is the Chief Executive of Leave side (which might explain items 3 and 4 in this list.)
- There’s been a large swing in the campaign. In May 2010 Yes2AV led by nearly 30% in the polls, in June 2015 Remain led by 44%, within a year those massive leads had been wiped out.
- David Cameron might have chosen the worst option for the Tory party, the electoral reform society calculated that the Tories would have gained more seats/had a larger majority if the 2015 general election had been fought under AV, there are those who think it might be in the best interest of the Tory party if Leave won.